Max Black on the Identity of Indiscernibles
Cross (Charles B.)
Source: Philosophical Quarterly 45.180 (Jul. 1995), pp. 350-360
Paper - Abstract

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Philosophers Index Abstract

I give a critique of the argument against the Identity of Indiscernibles1 found in Max Black's dialogue "The Identity of Indiscernibles2". I begin by postulating and giving existence and individuation3 conditions for actually existent thought experiment4 characters on analogy with fictional characters as postulated in Peter van Inwagen's "Creatures of Fiction5". I then show that Black's two-spheres thought experiment6 raises not one but two discernibility questions:

  1. Is it true in the two-spheres thought experiment7 that there exist two indiscernible spheres? NO.
  2. Is it true in the actual world that there are two indiscernible sphere-characters? YES.



In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 2: See "Black (Max) - The Identity of Indiscernibles".

Footnote 5: See "Van Inwagen (Peter) - Creatures of Fiction".


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  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



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