Countability and self-identity

European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (4):1-23 (2021)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

The Received View of particles in quantum mechanics is that they are indistinguishable entities within their kinds and that, as a consequence, they are not individuals in the metaphysical sense and self-identity does not meaningfully apply to them. Nevertheless cardinality does apply, in that one can have n> 1 such particles. A number of authors have recently argued that this cluster of claims is internally contradictory: roughly, that having more than one such particle requires that the concepts of distinctness and identity must apply after all. A common thread here is that the notion of identity is too fundamental to forego in any metaphysical account. I argue that this argument fails. I then argue that the failure of individuality and identity applies also to macroscopic physical objects, that the problems cannot be constrained to apply only within the microscopic realm.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,442

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Entity, identity and unity.E. J. Lowe - 1998 - Erkenntnis 48 (2-3):191-208.
Countability distinctions and semantic variation.Amy Rose Deal - 2017 - Natural Language Semantics 25 (2):125-171.
New Logics for Quantum Non-individuals?Jonas R. Becker Arenhart - 2018 - Logica Universalis 12 (3-4):375-395.
Identity and Countability.O. R. Jones - 1964 - Analysis 24 (6):201-206.
Particle labels and the theory of indistinguishable particles in quantum mechanics.Michael Redhead & Paul Teller - 1992 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 43 (2):201-218.
Many entities, no identity.Jonas R. Becker Arenhart - 2012 - Synthese 187 (2):801-812.
Non-countable Individuals.Johanna Seibt - 1996 - Southwest Philosophy Review 12 (1):225-236.
Identical particles in quantum mechanics revisited.Robert C. Hilborn & Candice L. Yuca - 2002 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 53 (3):355-389.

Analytics

Added to PP
2021-11-22

Downloads
10 (#890,924)

6 months
1 (#454,876)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Models and Analogies in Science.Mary B. Hesse - 1963 - University of Notre Dame Press.
Models and Analogies in Science.Mary Hesse - 1965 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 16 (62):161-163.
Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized.James Ladyman & Don Ross - 2007 - In James Ladyman, Don Ross, David Spurrett & John Collier (eds.), Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized. Oxford University Press.

View all 55 references / Add more references