Philosophers Index Abstract
- David Wiggins held that members of natural kinds1 cannot persist through changes in kind2 (e.g., no human could become non-human).
- James Baillie finds this counterintuitive; to avoid it he holds that the identity of these things is governed by Andrew Brennan's survival relation (a generalization of Derek Parfit3's relation R).
- Wiggins' theory is defended here by appealing to his conceptualism, which correlates criteria of identification with conditions of identity, and by arguing that since the survival relation4 is one-to-many it cannot supply criteria of identification for epistemically primary things, which natural things are presumed to be.
- Discusses two different philosophers' points of view regarding their theories of identity and natural kinds5.
- "Wiggins (David) - Sameness and Substance" argues that members of a natural kind6 are determined by 'lawlike principles' that govern their 'characteristic development and typical history';
- James Baillie challenges Wiggins in "Baillie (James) - Identity, Survival, and Sortal Concepts";
- Baillie believes identity should be dropped in favor of the S-relation;
- S-relation's use;
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