Non-countable Individuals

Southwest Philosophy Review 12 (1):225-236 (1996)
It is a common presupposition in ontology (metaphysics) that a so-called 'principle of individuation' amounts to a principle of counting. Against this presupposition I argue that the predicates 'x is the same individual as y' and 'x is one with y' are neither co-extensional nor co-intensional. Non-countable entities such as masses or stuffs (or the referents of nouns in classifier languages) also fulfill the requirements of individuality. I suggest that Leibniz' 'principle of the identity of indiscernibles' (PII) should be taken as a principle of individuality, rather than as a principle of the individuality of countables.
Keywords ontology  individuation  identity  countability  Leibniz
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DOI 10.5840/swphilreview199612122
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