Relative identity thesis

It requires that we either deny that Oscar minus a hair is a dog — and a Dalmatian — or else that we must affirm that there is a multiplicity of Dalmatians, all but one of which is incapable of independent action and all of which bark in unison no more loudly than Oscar barks alone.

It would follow, then, that most ordinary names are instantial terms. An argument against the perdurance theory that has been the focus of interest is one presented in various guises by a number of writers, including WigginsThomson and van Inwagen As Quine points out, however, a finite language will always contain a predicate satisfying Ref and LL in any structure; cf.

Thus there is no argument from sameness of truth-conditions to sameness of ontological commitments. However, though this is perhaps the most natural way to interpret de re modal statements once it has been accepted that the apparatus of possible worlds is to be used as an interpretative toolthere are well-known difficulties that make the approach problematic.

The objects for which the criterion is given are distinct from, and can be pictured as at a higher level than, the entities between which the relation specified holds. But he argued that when the terms flanking the sign of identity were what he called rigid designators, an identity statement, if true at all, had to be necessarily true, but need not be knowable a priori, as an analytic truth would be.

Even from a more limited viewpoint, it seems that once we have enough set theory to give us ordered pairs of integers and the ability to define Rwe get the partition it induces as well. This is a natural view for one who subscribes to RI. This argument illustrates the interdependence of the various topics discussed under the rubric of identity.

But the very sense of such statements as that old Oscar and young Oscar are the same dog requires a language in which a change in Oscar is expressible. Indeed, a trans-world counterpart of such an argument has been tried Chandlerthough Chandler views his argument somewhat differently.

When Oscar barks, do all these different dogs bark in unison? In the case of abstract objects the case discussed by Frege the criterion of identity for Fs is thought of as an equivalence relation holding between objects distinct from Fs. Williamson suggests a rather different approach, but one that, like the above, treats identity through change as an equivalence relation that does not satisfy LL.

The exact nature of the restriction depends on the equivalence relation itself, though there is an element of generality.

It is tempting to conclude that they are identical. In fact, many though of course not all identity preserving changes Oscar might undergo correspond directly to proper parts of an unchanged Oscar. But how does it follow that absolute identity does not exist?

Relative Identity

Wiggins contains the first appearance of this version in present-day philosophical literature; an equivalent puzzle is that of Dion and Theon, see Burke Assuming that is impossible, and assuming, as commonsense demands, that Oscar survives the loss of his tail, it follows that Oscar-minus does not survive.

Similarity relations satisfy only restricted forms of LL. Paradoxes of Identity The concept of identity, simple and settled though it may seem as characterized by the standard accountgives rise to a great deal of philosophical perplexity.

Both the restored ship and the reassembled one appear to qualify equally to be the original. If Tibbles is still a cat, it is hard to see by what criterion one could deny that Tib is a cat.

For example, it is quite plausible that the criterion of identity over time for persons should be thought of as given by a relation between bodies.

The property determined by a modal predicate may be affected by the subject term of a sentence containing the predicate. However, a more general application of the two-level notion is possible.

Circularity is thus not avoided. Suppose for the moment that we do not assign any special interpretation to the identity symbol. Yet the advocate of relative identity cannot simply reject any form of LL.

Consider the following alleged instance of RI: After all, the bricks are many, but the wall is one. See Epstein for a sketch of a proof of this fact.

Objects and Identity : an Examination of the Relative Identity Thesis and Its Consequences

But in this case the two processes produce conflicting results: New York University Press.The Doctrine of the Trinity and the Logic of Relative Identity Author(s): James Cain turn on an acceptance of the negative thesis. 2 'Aquinas' in G. E. M. Anscombe and P. T. Geach, Three Philosophers (Ithaca and London: Cornell The Doctrine of the Trinity and the Logic of Relative Identity.

Now, most relative identity theorists maintain that while identity relations are equivalence Relative identity thesis, they do not in general satisfy LL. However, according to at least one analysis of the passenger/person case (and others), the same person relation satisfies LL but the same passenger relation is not straightforwardly an equivalence relation (Gupta ).

P. T. Geach, notoriously, holds the Relative Identity Thesis, according to which a meaningful judgment of identity is always, implicitly or explicitly, relative to some general term. ‘The same’ is a fragmentary expression, and has no significance unless we say or mean ‘the same X’, where ‘X’ represents a general term (what Frege calls a.

As Blanchette [Blanchette ] has shown, if the relativizing strategy is taken as claiming that a given collection can have different relative cardinalities because there. Aquinas, the Incarnation and the Relative Identity Thesis: A Modest Defense of the Assumptus-Homo Theory Christopher H.

Conn The Thomist: A Speculative Quarterly Review, Volume 79, Number 1, January. If Geach is right that identity is sortal relative, then the irreducibility of restricted quantification follows. But, of course, one does not have to accept the highly controversial thesis that identity is relative to accept the latter claim.

Relative identity thesis
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