Identity: Logic, Ontology, Epistemology
Wertheimer (Roger)
Source: Philosophy - 73, Issue 02, Apr 1998, pp 179-193
Paper - Abstract

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Philosophers Index Abstract

  1. Identity gets misconceived since "=" is misconceived as a relative term. "=" is syncategorematic: with flanking names it forms nonpredicative sentences, much as, with flanking sentences, "&" forms conjunctive sentences.
  2. "b=c" predicates nothing of b, except implicitly, its being conamed "c".
  3. Identities ("Greece is Hellas") resemble analyticities ("Greeks are Hellenes".) They are equally (un)informative and readable as both objectual necessities about things and metalinguistic contingencies about their terms.
  4. The real contrast is between proper names (names of concrete objects) and terms with a predicative sense (predicates and names of abstract objects). That contrast is metaphysical and thus epistemic.


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