Metaphysica 18 (1) (2017)

Authors
Franz Berto
University of St. Andrews
Abstract
I would like to attack a certain view: The view that the concept of identity can fail to apply to some things although, for some positive integer n, we have n of them. The idea of entities without self-identity is seriously entertained in the philosophy of quantum mechanics. It is so pervasive that it has been labelled the Received View. I introduce the Received View in Section 1. In Section 2 I explain what I mean by entity, and I argue that supporters of the Received View should agree with my characterization of the corresponding notion of entity. I also explain what I mean by identity, and I show that supporters of the Received View agree with my characterization of that notion. In Section 3 I argue that the concept of identity, so characterized, is one with the concept of oneness. Thus, it cannot but apply to what belongs to a collection with n elements, n being a positive integer. In Section 4 I add some considerations on the primitiveness of identity or unity and the status of the Identity of Indiscernibles. In Section 5 I address the problem of how reference to indiscernible objects with identity can be achieved.
Keywords Identity  Identity of indiscernibles  Metaphysics of physics  Individuation
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Reprint years 2018
DOI 10.1515/mp-2017-0001
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References found in this work BETA

On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Wiley-Blackwell.
Laws and Symmetry.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1989 - Oxford University Press.
Material Beings.Peter Van Inwagen - 1990 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Identical Quantum Particles as Distinguishable Objects.Dennis Dieks & Andrea Lubberdink - forthcoming - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie:1-16.
Leibniz, Kant, and Referring in the Quantum Domain.Cord Friebe - forthcoming - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie:1-16.
Five Indistinguishable Spheres.Adrian Heathcote - forthcoming - Axiomathes:1-17.

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