Leibniz's Principles of the Identity of Indiscernibles
Chernoff (Fred)
Source: Philosophical Quarterly 31.123 (April 1981), pp. 126-138
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Philosophers Index Abstract

    The principle of the identity of indiscernibles1 in Leibniz's correspondence with Clarke is sometimes interpreted as a contingent proposition because it is a consequence of the principle of sufficient reason, and sometimes it is interpreted as a necessary truth. This study examines the arguments in which Leibniz uses the identity of indiscernibles2. By recognizing the logical difference between two types of question Leibniz addresses in the correspondence, it is shown that he uses at least two modally3 distinct versions of the principle. The text also reveals an evolution in Leibniz's use of it, away from the stronger and toward the weaker version of the principle.

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