- I am arguing for the thesis that identity is relative. When one says "x is identical with y," this, I hold, is an incomplete expression; it is short for "x is the same A as y" where "A" represents some count noun understood from the context of utterance, or else, it is just a vague expression of a half-formed thought.
- Frege emphasized that "x is one" is an incomplete way of saying "x is one A, a single A," or else has no clear sense; since the connection of the concepts one and identity comes out just as much in the German "ein und dasselbe" as in the English "one and the same," it has always surprised me that Frege did not similarly maintain the parallel doctrine of relativized identity, which I have just briefly stated.
- On the contrary, Frege actually enunciated with all vigor a doctrine that identity cannot be relativized: "Identity is a relation given to us in such a specific form that it is inconceivable that various forms of it should occur" (Grundgesetze, Vol. II, p. 254).
- Here titled "Identity Theory".
- Originally "Identity" in The Review of Metaphysics, Vol. 21, No. 1 (Sep., 1967), pp. 3-12
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