Indeterminancy of Identity of Objects and Sets
Woodruff (Peter) & Parsons (Terence)
Source: Philosophical Perspectives, Vol. 11, Mind, Causation, and World (1997), pp. 321-348
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Authors’ Abstract

  1. The purpose of this essay is to explore the idea that identity might be indeterminate. That is, that certain questions of identity have no answer, not because of an inadequacy in the language in which they are framed, but because of genuine indeterminacy in the world.
  2. In section 1 we describe this idea in general terms, in section 2 we give a classical "picturing" of the situation designed to allay fears that the idea is incoherent, in section 3 we discuss Evans-like attempts to disprove the view, in section 4 we extend the account to sets of objects, and in section 5 we discuss a classical alternative to the view of indeterminacy described in the first three sections.

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