A Possibilist Metaphysical Reconsideration of the Identity of Indiscernibles and Free Will
Gilead (Amihud)
Source: Metaphysica 6.2 (2005), pp. 25-52
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. If we consider any two entities, such as the two spheres in Max Black’s thought-experiment1, as possibilities, pure or actual, they cannot be considered indiscernible at all. Since allegedly indiscernible possibilities are necessarily one and the same possibility, any numerically distinct (at least two) possibilities must be discernible, independently of their properties, “monadic” or relational. Hence, any distinct possibility is also discernible. Metaphysically-ontologically, the identity of indiscernibles as possibilities is thus necessary, however epistemic discernibility is still lacking or does not exist. Since any actuality is of a single pure possibility, the identity also holds for actual indiscernibles. The metaphysical or ontological necessity of the identity of indiscernibles renders, I believe, any opposition to it entirely groundless.
  2. Like pain, the experience or feeling of free will is subjective yet infallible and authoritative from intersubjective or objective perspective as well. Whether the grounds for being in pain are known or not, being in pain is infallible. The same holds for our experience of free will. As much as no illusion of pain is possible, no experience of free will is possibly an illusion. As much as the experience of pain constitutes the reality of pain, the experience of free will constitutes its reality. In both cases percipi is esse. The freedom of will is thus immune against illusion or self-deception, whether the will is motivated or not, determined or not, and whether the reasons or causes for its determinacy or indeterminacy are known or not. The unintelligibility or the mystery of free will does not cast any doubt on its reality as a well-established fact.

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