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

Paper Summary


Philosophers Index Abstract

I give a critique of the argument against the Identity of Indiscernibles found in Max Black's dialogue "The Identity of Indiscernibles1". I begin by postulating and giving existence and individuation conditions for actually existent thought experiment2 characters on analogy with fictional characters as postulated in Peter van Inwagen's "Creatures of Fiction3". I then show that Black's two-spheres thought experiment4 raises not one but two discernibility questions:

  1. Is it true in the two-spheres thought experiment5 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 1: See "Black (Max) - The Identity of Indiscernibles".

Footnote 3: See "Van Inwagen (Peter) - Creatures of Fiction".


Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  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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