The Rise of Relationals

Mind 124 (493):201-237 (2015)
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Abstract

I begin by criticizing an elaboration of an argument in this journal due to Hawley , who argued that, where Leibniz’s Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles faces counterexamples, invoking relations to save PII fails. I argue that insufficient attention has been paid to a particular distinction. I proceed by demonstrating that in most putative counterexamples to PII , the so-called Discerning Defence trumps the Summing Defence of PII. The general kind of objects that do the discerning in all cases form a category that has received little if any attention in metaphysics. This category of objects lies between indiscernibles and individuals and is called relationals: objects that can be discerned by means of relations only and not by properties. Remarkably, relationals turn out to populate the universe

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F. A. Muller
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Citations of this work

Identity and individuality in quantum theory.Steven French - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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From ontic structural realism to metaphysical coherentism.Matteo Morganti - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (1):1-20.
Dissecting weak discernibility of quanta.Tomasz Bigaj - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 50:43-53.

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References found in this work

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Individuals: An Essay in Descriptive Metaphysics.Peter Frederick Strawson - 1959 - London, England: Routledge. Edited by Wenfang Wang.
The Principles of Mathematics.Bertrand Russell - 1903 - Cambridge, England: Allen & Unwin.
Individuals.P. F. Strawson - 1959 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 14 (2):246-246.

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