Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (4):761 - 777 (2012)

Kai Wehmeier
University of California, Irvine
Identity, we're told, is the binary relation that every object bears to itself, and to itself only. But how can a relation be binary if it never relates two objects? This puzzled Russell and led Wittgenstein to declare that identity is not a relation between objects. The now standard view is that Wittgenstein's position is untenable, and that worries regarding the relational status of identity are the result of confusion. I argue that the rejection of identity as a binary relation is perfectly tenable. To this end, I outline and defend a logical framework that is not committed to an objectual identity relation but is nevertheless expressively equivalent to first-order logic with identity. After it has thus been shown that there is no indispensability argument for objectual identity, I argue that we have good reasons for doubting the existence of such a relation, and rebut a number of attempts at discrediting these reasons.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2012
DOI 10.1080/00048402.2011.627927
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: 55,935
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 17 (2):278-279.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1981 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.

View all 27 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Is Identity Really so Fundamental?Décio Krause & Jonas R. Becker Arenhart - 2019 - Foundations of Science 24 (1):51-71.
Supervenience, Dependence, Disjunction.Lloyd Humberstone - forthcoming - Logic and Logical Philosophy:1.
The Things We Do with Identity.Alexis Burgess - 2018 - Mind 127 (505):105-128.

View all 14 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Identity of Clones.Kathinka Evers - 1999 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 24 (1):67 – 76.
Identity, Structure and Logic.Jean-Yves Beziau - 1996 - Bulletin of the Section of Logic 25:89-9.
Weakly Classical Theories of Identity.Joshua Schechter - 2011 - Review of Symbolic Logic 4 (4):607-644.
Plural Quantification and Modality.Gabriel Uzquiano - 2011 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 111 (2pt2):219-250.
Memory and Identity.Marya Schechtman - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 153 (1):65-79.


Added to PP index

Total views
169 ( #55,688 of 2,403,030 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
10 ( #68,384 of 2,403,030 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes