- This pseudo-Paper is intended as the mechanism to record time spent on the Note 'Contingent Identity1' during my Thesis research, as from 2011.
- For the actual time recorded, click on "Paper Statistics" above.
Write-up2 (as at 17/09/2020 09:24:29): Contingent Identity
- The orthodox approach to the Logic of Identity4 is to treat it as a necessary equivalence relation. I follow this approach.
- However, in response to various TEs5, deviant forms6 of Identity have been devised, and some are still popular.
- Contingent Identity arose7 in the paper by Alan Gibbard listed below, which considers the TE of the Statue and the Clay8.
- The TE relates to the topic of Constitution9. We are to consider a statue and the lump of clay of which is constituted. If we arrange things carefully, the two might coincidentally come into and go out of existence at the same time. If so, are they not identical, given that they would seem to have all the same properties? Yet, they might not have been temporally coincident – in the normal case, the lump would be formed first, and only slowly be sculpted into a statue. So, they are only contingently identical, the argument goes. And this TE shows (it is said) that far from being a necessary relation, identity may only contingently hold.
- The logic of identity is so secure that it is sensible to look for other explanations of the TE. Of course, the divinations of just what is wrong with the TE are many, which doesn’t necessarily mean that the TE is misleading for any of these reasons.
- Baker10, for instance, has “relation to an art world” as one of the properties the Statue has which is not had by the Lump. So, by Leibniz’s Law11, the two are never identical.
- I’m suspicious of any TE involving artefacts12.
- See also the Note on modality13.
- I intend to cover this topic in Chapter 414 along with the other deviant approaches to Identity.
- For a Page of Links15 to this Note, Click here.
- Works on – or related to (maybe only tangentially) – this topic that I’ve actually read16 include the following:-
- "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - The Very Idea of Constitution", Baker
- "Gibbard (Allan) - Contingent Identity", Gibbard
- "Hershenov (David) - Review of Nancy Murphy's 'Bodies and Souls, or Spirited Bodies?'", Hershenov
- "Lewis (David) - Counterparts of Persons and Their Bodies", Lewis
- "Shoemaker (David) - Personal Identity, Rational Anticipation, and Self-Concern", Shoemaker
- "Thomas (Janice L.) - Criticisms of materialism - is the physical enough?", Thomas
- "Zimmerman (Dean) - Bodily Resurrection: The Falling Elevator Model Revisited", Zimmerman
- A further reading list might start with:-
- "Akiba (Ken) - Identity Is Simple", Akiba
- "Carter (William) - Contingent Identity and Rigid Designation", Carter
- "Carter (William) - On Contingent Identity and Temporal Worms", Carter
- "Castaneda (Hector-Neri) - Intensionality and Identity in Human Action and Philosophical Method", Castaneda
- "Correia (Fabrice) - Comments on Varzi", Correia
- "Gallois (Andre) - Rigid Designation and the Contingency of Identity", Gallois
- "Hawthorne (John) - Identity", Hawthorne
- "Keefe (Rosanna) - Contingent Identity and Vague Identity", Keefe
- "Kripke (Saul) - Identity and Necessity", Kripke
- "Lowe (E.J.) - Necessity and Identity", Lowe
- "Miller (Kristie) - The Metaphysical Equivalence of Non-Unitary Three- and Four-dimensionalism", Miller
- "Noonan (Harold) - Identity", Noonan
- "Noonan (Harold) - Indeterminate Identity, Contingent Identity and Abelardian Predicates", Noonan
- "Ramachandran (Murali) - An Alternative Translation Scheme For Counterpart Theory", Ramachandran
- "Robinson (Denis) - Re-Identifying Matter", Robinson
- "Salmon (Nathan) - Principles of Cross-World Identification", Salmon
- "Stalnaker (Robert) - Counterparts and Identity", Stalnaker
- "Yablo (Stephen) - Identity, Essence, and Indiscernibility", Yablo
- This is mostly a place-holder17.
- This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (17/09/2020 09:24:29).
- Link to Latest Write-Up Note.
- I’m not sure if this is the correct terminology.
- Or at least was thereby brought to my attention as an undergraduate.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020