Extensionalists and Relativists; an Eirenic Interlude
Williams (Christopher)
Source: Williams (Christopher) - What is Identity? Chapter 5
Paper - Abstract

Paper SummaryText Colour-Conventions

Analytical TOC1

  1. Wittgenstein regards 'a = a' as a pseudo-proposition and Russell calls 'a exists' a 'mere noise or shape, devoid of significance'.
  2. But truth-conditions can be laid down for '— exists' or '— is the same as ', taken as first-level predicables, in terms of their extensions.
  3. How, on this view, is the meaning of '— exist' distinguishable from that of any predicable whose extension is the universal class?
  4. Can '— exist' be defined as the only simple predicable whose extension is the universal class?
  5. Similar questions can be asked about '— is the same as ….'.
  6. Existence and identity, if introduced in this way as first-level concepts, have nothing to do with the words 'exist' and 'same' as they are used in everyday speech.
  7. Kripke's manoeuvre of replacing identity with schmidentity examined.
  8. Those who hold that identity is relative need to categorize '— is the same as......' as a first-level predicable. The relativist theory is incoherent on a Wittgensteinian view of identity.
  9. But neither will the extensionalist account of identity give relativists what they want. This removes any hope extensionalists may have had of providing an identity concept of interest to philosophers.


Photocopy of complete Book filed in "Various - Papers on Identity Boxes: Vol 19 (W)".

In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1: Taken from "Williams (Christopher) - What Is Identity?: Introduction and Analytical Table of Contents". The numbering corresponds to Williams’s section-numbering.

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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