Grounding and defining identity

Noûs 57 (4):850-876 (2022)
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I systematically defend a novel account of the grounds for identity and distinctness facts: they are all uniquely zero‐grounded. First, this Null Account is shown to avoid a range of problems facing other accounts: a relation satisfying the Null Account would be an excellent candidate for being the identity relation. Second, a plenitudinist view of relations suggests that there is such a relation. To flesh out this plenitudinist view I sketch a novel framework for expressing real definitions, use this framework to give a definition of identity, and show how the central features of the identity relation can be deduced from this definition.

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Jon Litland
University of Texas at Austin

Citations of this work

Indiscernibility and the Grounds of Identity.Samuel Z. Elgin - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-23.
Modal Idealism.David Builes - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Mind.
The Identity of Necessary Indiscernibles.Zach Thornton - forthcoming - Philosophers' Imprint.

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References found in this work

Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Modal Logic as Metaphysics.Timothy Williamson - 2013 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
On what grounds what.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - In Ryan Wasserman, David Manley & David Chalmers (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. pp. 347-383.
Guide to Ground.Kit Fine - 2012 - In Fabrice Correia & Benjamin Schnieder (eds.), Metaphysical grounding: understanding the structure of reality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 37--80.
Metaphysical Dependence: Grounding and Reduction.Gideon Rosen - 2010 - In Bob Hale & Aviv Hoffmann (eds.), Modality: metaphysics, logic, and epistemology. qnew York: Oxford University Press. pp. 109-135.

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