Metaphysica 12 (1):19-30 (2011)

Abstract
This paper will provide support for relationalism; the claim that the identity of objects is constituted by the totality of their relations to other things in the world. I will consider how Kit Fine’s criticisms of essentialism within modal logic not only highlight the inability of modal logic to account for essential properties but also arouse suspicion surrounding the possibility of nonrelational properties. I will claim that Fine’s criticisms, together with concerns surrounding Hempel’s paradox, show that it is not possible to provide a satisfactory account of certain properties in abstraction from their place within a wider context. Next, we will shift attention to natural kinds and consider the notion that relevance plays in metaphysical accounts of identity, by examining Peter Geach’s notion of relative identity. I will argue that the intensional relation between subject and object must be included in a satisfactory account of metaphysical identity
Keywords Relevance  Relationalism  Holism  Anti-essentialism
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DOI 10.1007/s12133-011-0074-6
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References found in this work BETA

Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity.Richard Rorty - 1989 - Cambridge University Press.
Essence and Modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8 (Logic and Language):1-16.
Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity.Richard Rorty - 1989 - The Personalist Forum 5 (2):149-152.
Three Grades of Modal Involvment.W. V. O. Quine - 1953 - Proceedings of the XIth International Congress of Philosophy 14:65-81.
Logical Positivism.R. Carnap - 1959 - Free Press.

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