Closer

Synthese 146 (3):371 - 393 (2005)
Abstract
Criteria of identity should mirror the identity relation in being reflexive, symmetrical, and transitive. However, this logical requirement is only rarely met by the criteria that we are most inclined to propose as candidates. The present paper addresses the question how such obvious candidates are best approximated by means of relations that have all of the aforementioned features, i.e., which are equivalence relations. This question divides into two more basic questions. First, what is to be considered a ‘best’ approximation. And second, how can these best approximations be found? In answering these questions, we both rely on and constructively criticize ground-breaking work done by Timothy Williamson. Guiding ideas of our approach are that we allow approximations by means of overlapping equivalence-relations, and that closeness of approximation is measured in terms of the number of mistakes made by the approximation when compared to the obvious candidate criterion.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Logic   Metaphysics   Philosophy of Language
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-004-6219-1
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References found in this work BETA
Vagueness.Timothy Williamson - 1994 - Routledge.
The Logical Structure of the World.Rudolf Carnap - 1967 - Berkeley: University of California Press.
Personal Identity.H. P. Grice - 1941 - Mind 50 (October):330-350.
Criteria of Identity and the Axiom of Choice.Timothy Williamson - 1986 - Journal of Philosophy 83 (7):380-394.

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Citations of this work BETA
Impredicative Identity Criteria.Leon Horsten - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (2):411-439.
Models for Counterparts.Alessandro Torza - 2011 - Axiomathes 21 (4):553-579.

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