- Four central claims about the nature of identity are formulated. Identity is unitary, indefinable, fundamental, and it is a genuine relation.
- This general conception of identity is appealed to in later chapters when discussing other topics.
- I start the book with the notion of identity, which I take to be a paradigm logical notion. I argue that identity is a single unitary relation applicable across the full range of objects (and properties etc); it is not in any way relative or qualified according to the type of object to which it applies. It is a simple absolute relation that necessarily holds of any actual or conceivable entity.
- Attempts to define identity - say by Leibniz's law3 - are doomed to circularity, since it occupies far too deep a role in our thought for it to emerge from other concepts. Every thought brings with it a tacit invocation of the identity concept.
- Despite its universality, the concept of identity is not redundant or in any way unreal; it is simply a relation that characterizes every thinkable (and unthinkable) thing. I expect much of this chapter will strike the reader as familiar; my aim is to use these claims about identity as a foil for what follows.
Photocopy filed in "Various - Papers on Identity Boxes: Vol 10 (M1: Ma-Mc)".
Footnote 1: Taken from Oxford Scholarship Online.
Footnote 2: Taken from "McGinn (Colin) - Précis of 'Logical Properties: Identity, Existence, Prediction, Necessity, Truth'".
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