- This pseudo-Paper is intended as the mechanism to record time spent on the Note 'Vague Identity1' during my Thesis research, as from 2011.
- For the actual time recorded, click on "Paper Summary" above.
Write-up2 (as at 17/01/2018 13:43:41): Vague 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.
- However, the logic of identity is so secure that it is sensible to look for other explanations of any TE that appears to bring it into doubt.
- Two seemingly related suggestions are Vague Identity (VI, this Note) and Indeterminate Identity7 (II).
- I’m not sure of the distinction between VI and II, having studied neither in any detail, but:-
- I’d have thought that VI is a metaphysical claim alongside the suggestion – allegedly refuted by Evans – that there can be vague objects.
- In contrast to this, II sounds like an epistemological claim – that there are identity claims the truth-values of which we cannot know.
- The above distinction is somewhat moot if the puzzle of Vagueness8 is seen as at root epistemological, as by Timothy Williamson.
- To make matters worse, there are at least two other terms used:-
→ “Indefinite Identity”, and
→ “Imperfect Identity”
Both these terms sound metaphysical, so I’ve assumed (for now) that they are the same as “Vague Identity”.
- However, a quick look through the abstract of the papers on the reading lists suggests that the two notions are related – in that papers titled as related to one actually seem to relate to the other. Parsons’s book below looks like a good study of the whole topic but uses II to mean indeterminacy in the world, which is a metaphysical claim.
- I intend to cover these topics in Chapter 49 along with the other deviant approaches to Identity.
- Works on this topic that I’ve actually read10, include11 the following:-
- "Evans (Gareth) - Can There Be Vague Objects?", Evans
- "Garrett (Brian) - Identity and Vagueness", Garrett
- "Hossack (Keith) - Vagueness and Personal Identity", Hossack
- "Olson (Eric) - Imperfect Identity", Olson12
- A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
- "Broome (John) - Indefiniteness in Identity", Broome
- "Burgess (J.A.) - Vague Objects and Indefinite Identity", Burgess
- "Edgington (Dorothy) - Williamson on Vagueness, Identity and Leibniz's Law", Edgington
- "Garrett (Brian) - Vagueness and Identity", Garrett
- "Lowe (E.J.) - Vague Identity and Quantum Indeterminacy", Lowe
- "Noonan (Harold) - Vague Identity Yet Again", Noonan
- "Van Inwagen (Peter) - The Vagueness of Identity", Van Inwagen
- "Williamson (Timothy) - Vagueness, Identity and Leibniz's Law", Williamson
- This is mostly a place-holder13. Currently, just see the categorised reading-list.
- This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (17/01/2018 13:43:41).
- 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.
- I’m not sure if this is the correct terminology.
- Frequently I’ll have made copious marginal annotations, and sometimes have written up a review-note.
- In the former case, I intend to transfer the annotations into electronic form as soon as I can find the time.
- In the latter case, I will have remarked on the fact against the citation, and will integrate the comments into this Note in due course.
- My intention is to incorporate into these Notes comments on material I’ve already read rather than engage with unread material at this stage.
- I may have read others in between updates of this Note – in which case they will be marked as such in the “References and Reading List” below.
- Papers or Books partially read have a rough %age based on the time spent versus the time expected.
- It looks like Olson uses “imperfect” as an amalgamated metaphysical / epistemological claim.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018