This pseudo-Paper is intended as the mechanism to record time spent on the Note 'Leibniz' during my Thesis research, as from 2011. Click here for Note.
Write-up1 (as at 15/10/2017 23:44:10): Leibniz
- I’m uncertain whether this Note will cover anything apart from Leibniz’s Law(s).
- However, Leibniz’s critique of Locke in "Leibniz (Gottfried), Remnant (Peter), Bennett (Jonathan) - New Essays on Human Understanding" may be worth following up, though I suspect life’s too short.
- There are two “Laws” attributed to Leibniz:-
- The Law of the Indiscernibility of Identicals: this just appears to be a law of logic, and is (almost) universally accepted. It states that if “two” objects are identical (that is, “they” are the same object picked out by two descriptions) then “they” have exactly the same properties – both intrinsic and relational.
- The Law of the Identity of Indiscernibles: this is a more contentious – and metaphysical – suggestion, and is that if “two” objects share all the same intrinsic and relational properties, they are identical (ie there is only one object, but picked out by different descriptions).
- The (apparent) problems with the first3 law are (at least) twofold:-
- The same object can have different properties at different times. This is the problem of temporary intrinsics4, and the logic of identity5 is tied up with resolving this issue.
- Intensional properties are excluded from consideration – as revealed by the masked man fallacy: the fact that I don’t know that the masked man is my father – though I do know that my father is my father – doesn’t mean that the masked man isn’t my father.
- The second Law seems reasonable enough for ordinary macroscopic objects, but
- It is allegedly false for quantum objects, and could also be false in a universe consisting of two exactly similar spheres. It is neither a logical nor a necessary truth, if it is true at all.
- However, if it is false, it seems to demand haecceities6, where things are distinct just because they are distinct (something empiricists dislike).
- See the categorised reading list below, which is far too wide; a “starter pack” might include:-
- "Ayer (A.J.) - The Identity of Indiscernibles", Ayer
- "Barnes (Kenneth) - Aristotle on Identity and Its Problems", Barnes7
- "Baylis (Charles A.) - Review Article: The Identity of Indiscernibles", Baylis8
- "Black (Max) - The Identity of Indiscernibles", Black
- "Crane (Tim) & Farkas (Katalin) - Being: Introduction", Crane+Farkas
- "Forrest (Peter) - The Identity of Indiscernibles", Forrest
- "Hawley (Katherine) - Identity and Indiscernibility", Hawley
- "Sleigh (R.C.) - Identity of Indiscernibles", Sleigh
- This is a place-holder9.
- This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (15/10/2017 23:44:10).
- Link to Latest Write-Up Note.
- A number of my philosophical Notes are “promissory notes” currently only listing the books and papers (if any) I possess on the topic concerned.
- I’ve decided to add some text – whether by way of motivation, or something more substantive – for all these identified topics related to my Thesis.
- As I want to do this fairly quickly, the text may be confused or show surprising ignorance.
- The reader (if such exists) will have to bear with me, and display the principle of charity while this footnote exists.
- No doubt there’s a convention as to which is the “first” and which is the “second” of Leibniz’s Laws, but they are often confusingly combined into one law with two parts.
- Barnes alleges that the Law is due to Aristotle rather than to Leibniz.
- The papers reviewed by Bayliss (and the review itself) are all rather old, so I’ve not selected for further study all the papers reviewed in this brief article.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018