Philosophical Studies 163 (3):697-715 (2013)

Nicholas Mantegani
Western Michigan University
In order to avoid the problems faced by standard realist analyses of the “relation” of instantiation, Baxter and, following him, Armstrong each analyze the instantiation of a universal by a particular in terms of their partial identity. I introduce two related conceptions of partial identity, one mereological and one non-mereological, both of which require at least one of the relata of the partial identity “relation” to be complex. I then introduce a second non-mereological conception of partial identity, which allows for both relata to be simple. I take these three conceptions to exhaust the plausible ways of construing two entities as being partially identical. I then argue that there is no analysis (including those offered by Baxter and Armstrong) of a universal and a particular as being partially identical consistent with any of these three conceptions that (i) is coherent, (ii) is consistently realist, (iii) does not lead to absurd consequences, and (iv) offers a “solution” to the problem of instantiation that avoids the problems with the other standard realist responses. In so arguing, I offer a criticism of the analysis of instantiation as partial identity that is independent of the standard criticism that it entails the necessity of predication.
Keywords Instantiation  Partial identity  Universals  Realism
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9840-0
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References found in this work BETA

New Work for a Theory of Universals.David Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
Parts: A Study in Ontology.Peter Simons - 1987 - Oxford University Press.
Truth and Truthmakers.D. M. Armstrong - 2004 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Instantiation as Partial Identity.José Tomás Alvarado Marambio - 2012 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 19 (4):459-487.
Almost Identical, Almost Innocent.Katherine Hawley - 2017 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 82:249-263.

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