The Epistemology of Identity


The subject of this paper is the epistemology of identity: a general theory of knowledge, evidence and justification for the claim that one thing is identical to another. Although identity figures significantly in our epistemic lives, this is a topic that, to the best of my knowledge, has gone entirely unexplored. Initial attempts to integrate such an epistemology into existing theories of evidence---many of which are tailor-made for contingent propositions---are confounded by the necessity of identity. I defend a restricted form of skepticism according to which the only knowable identity claims are trivial.



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Samuel Elgin
Yale University

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References found in this work

On the Plurality of Worlds.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell.
Philosophical explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Knowledge and lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2004 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The origin of concepts.Susan Carey - 2009 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Nature's Metaphysics: Laws and Properties.Alexander Bird - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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