Multiple Actualities and Ontically Vague Identity
Williams (J. Robbie G.)
Source: The Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 58, No. 230, Special Issue: Existence and Identity (Jan., 2008), pp. 134-154
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s1 Abstract

  1. Gareth Evans's argument against ontically vague identity2 has been picked over on many occasions. But extant proposals for blocking the argument do not meet well-motivated general constraints on a successful solution. Moreover, the pivotal position that defending ontically vague identity3 occupies vis a vis ontic vagueness more generally has not yet been fully appreciated.
  2. This paper advocates a way of resisting the Evans argument meeting all the mentioned constraints: if we can find referential indeterminacy in virtue of ontic vagueness, we can get out of the Evans argument while still preserving genuinely ontically vague identity4.
  3. To show how this approach can vindicate particular cases of ontically vague identity5, I develop a framework for describing ontic vagueness in general in terms of multiple actualities. The effect, overall, is to provide a principled and attractive approach to ontically vague identity6 that is immune from Evansian worries.

Paper Abstract
  1. Although the Evans argument against vague identity7 has been much discussed, proposals for blocking it have not so far satisfied general conditions which any solution ought to meet.
  2. Moreover, the relation between ontically vague identity8 and ontic vagueness more generally has not yet been satisfactorily addressed.
  3. I advocate a way of resisting the Evans argument which satisfies the conditions.
  4. To show how this approach can vindicate particular cases of ontically vague identity9, I develop a framework for describing ontic vagueness in general in terms of multiple actualities.
  5. This provides a principled approach to ontically vague identity10 which is unaffected by the Evans argument.



In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1: I’m not sure where this came from as it’s not the same as that in the published paper. I originally had the pre-publication version, so maybe it came from there


Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



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