Vague Identity Yet Again
Noonan (Harold)
Source: Analysis, Vol. 50, No. 3 (Jun., 1990), pp. 157-162
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. Gareth Evans’s article on vague identity has been the subject of many criticisms. Despite these criticisms, however, I believe that fundamentally Evans's attack on the notion of indefinite identity is sound.
  2. In what follows I first present what seems to me the most powerful version of Evans's argument and then respond to the recent criticisms of Over, Garrett and Johnsen.
  3. In doing so I attempt to make it clear that there is, in essence, only one reply to Evans available to the defender of indefinite identity, and that a most uninviting one, namely the defence of indefinite identity as a kind of relative identity1 (which I call 'mere indistinguishability in non-delta properties') and the rejection of a principle I shall refer to as 'the principle of the Diversity of the Definitely Dissimilar'.

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