- 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 Statistics" above.
Write-up2 (as at 30/11/2019 22:58:05): 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 include 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", Olson11
- 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-holder12.
- This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (30/11/2019 22:58:05).
- Link to Latest Write-Up Note.
- I’m not sure if this is the correct terminology.
- It looks like Olson uses “imperfect” as an amalgamated metaphysical / epistemological claim.
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