Global Supervenience and Identity Across Times and Worlds
Sider (Ted)
Source: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (1999): 913–937
Paper - Abstract

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Author's Abstract

    The existence and importance of supervenience1 principles for identity across times and worlds have been noted, but insufficient attention has been paid to their precise nature. Such attention is repaid with philosophical dividends. The issues in the formulation of the supervenience2 principles are two. The first involves the relevant variety of supervenience3: that variety is global, but there are in fact two versions of global supervenience4 that must be distinguished. The second involves the subject matter: the names "identity over time" and "identity across worlds" are misnomers, for in neither case is identity at issue. The philosophical dividends then follow. Nathan Salmon's argument that identity over time needs no "grounds" in matters of qualitative fact can be answered, as can an argument offered by many, that coincident objects (such as statues5 and lumps of clay) would require objectionably ungrounded differences in identities across times and worlds.


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