McGinn (Colin)
Source: McGinn - Logical Properties, 2000, Chapter 1
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract1

  1. Four central claims about the nature of identity are formulated. Identity is unitary, indefinable, fundamental, and it is a genuine relation.
  2. This general conception of identity is appealed to in later chapters when discussing other topics.

Author’s Abstract2
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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)".

In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1: Taken from Oxford Scholarship Online.

Footnote 2: Taken from "McGinn (Colin) - Précis of 'Logical Properties: Identity, Existence, Prediction, Necessity, Truth'".

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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