Hacking Away at the Identity of Indiscernibles: Possible Worlds and Einstein's Principle of Equivalence
French (Steven)
Source: Journal of Philosophy 92.9 (Sept. 1995), pp. 455-466
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    The long running debate over the conceptual status of Leibniz's Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles1 has been given a new twist by Hacking, who suggests that the Principle is true, not in each possible world, but about all possible worlds. He supports this suggestion with a consideration of the underdetermination in our description of possible worlds which, it is claimed, lies at the heart of General Relativity. In the present paper, Hacking's argument is examined in detail and it is shown that reflection upon the foundations of space-time physics reveals that the argument is not well grounded. This is taken as further evidence of the difficulty in pulling metaphysical rabbits out of physical hats.

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