Foundations of Science 24 (1):51-71 (2019)

Décio Krause
Federal University of Santa Catarina
Jonas R. B. Arenhart
Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina
We critically examine the claim that identity is a fundamental concept. According to those putting forward this thesis, there are four related reasons that can be called upon to ground the fundamental character of identity: identity is presupposed in every conceptual system; identity is required to characterize individuality; identity cannot be defined; the intelligibility of quantification requires identity. We address each of these points and argue that none of them advances compelling reasons to hold that identity is fundamental; in fact, most of the tasks that seem to require identity may be performed without identity. So, in the end, identity may not be a fundamental concept after all.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10699-018-9553-3
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 62,289
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Identity of Indiscernibles.Max Black - 1952 - Mind 61 (242):153-164.

View all 32 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Identity and Individuality in Quantum Theory.Steven French - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Identical Quantum Particles as Distinguishable Objects.Dennis Dieks & Andrea Lubberdink - forthcoming - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie:1-16.
Recombining Non-Qualitative Reality.Sam Cowling - 2021 - Synthese 198 (3):2273-2295.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Identity.Giselle Walker & Elisabeth Leedham-Green (eds.) - 2010 - Cambridge University Press.
Identity Crisis and Strong Evaluation.Eva Prokesova - 2011 - Filozofia 66 (5):486-490.
Relativizations of the Principle of Identity.Décio Krause & Jean-Yves Béziau - 1997 - Logic Journal of the IGPL 5 (3):17-29.
Logic of Identity.Bhikhu Parekh - 2009 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 8 (3):267-284.
La Noción de Identidad En Los "Tópicos".Mario Mignucci - 2002 - Anuario Filosófico 35 (73):313-340.
Encyclopedia of Identity.Ronald L. Jackson (ed.) - 2010 - Sage Publications.
A Sense of Identity: Prolegomena to a Social Theory of Personal Identity.John D. GreenwooD - 1994 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 24 (1):25–46.
Disablement and Personal Identity.Steven D. Edwards - 2006 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 10 (2):209-215.
Identity and the Moral Life.Mrinal Miri (ed.) - 2002 - Oxford University Press.
As One Should, Ought and Wants to Be.Barbara Yngvesson & Maureen A. Mahoney - 2000 - Theory, Culture and Society 17 (6):77-110.


Added to PP index

Total views
100 ( #106,451 of 2,445,014 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
7 ( #102,996 of 2,445,014 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes