Relative Identity
Griffin (Nicholas)
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BOOK ABSTRACT:

Inside Cover Blurb

  1. In recent years theories of relative identity1 have attracted a good deal of attention among philosophers. Many such theories have been proposed but all have in common the admission of a three-place identity relation, the third place being filled by a general noun, or covering concept, which specifies the respect in which two items are said to be identical.
  2. Such theories have attracted much hostile criticism, especially those which incorporate P. T. Geach's claim (R) that items identical with respect to one general noun may be distinct with respect to another.
  3. In this book, Nicholas Griffin proposes a theory which incorporates (R) but differs from Geach's own position in denying that all identity relations are relative identity2 relations.
  4. He shows that the objections raised against such a theory are groundless and that a number of old philosophical problems about identity can be resolved by the use of relative identity3.
  5. He considers some implications of his theory for fundamental questions concerning individuation4 and the notion of an object; and he sets out the groundwork for a fully-fledged formal theory of relative identity5 including (R). His approach to the theory is via an account of some different types of general noun and their relevance to relative identity6, and particularly the role that sortals7 play in individuation8.

Author’s Preface
  1. As philosophical theories go, the classical theory of identity, which stems from Leibniz's Law9, has had a long innings. Recently, however, attention has been attracted by non-standard identity theories in which the classical two-place identity operator is replaced, or supplemented, by a range of three-place identity operators, the third place in each being occupied by a general noun which expresses the respect in which identity is intended.
  2. One such theory is defended here.
    • The theory is approached somewhat obliquely in Chapters 2 to 5, where different types of general noun are distinguished and their relevance to questions of identity and distinctness considered.
    • Chapters 6 and 7 reject the frequently made claim that classical identity statements are incomplete or senseless. A feature of the theory proposed here is that it incorporates the classical theory.
    • In Chapters 8 to 10 the thesis that items identical with respect to one general noun may be distinct with respect to another is defended, and formal principles for a relative identity10 theory are set out.
  3. … [… snip …] …

BOOK COMMENT:

Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1977



"Griffin (Nicholas) - Absolute and Relative Identity"

Source: Griffin - Relative Identity, 1977, Chapter 1


Sections
  1. The Theory of Absolute Identity;
  2. Difficulties With Absolute Identity;
  3. Some Advantages of Relative Identity1;
  4. Some Theories of Relative Identity2;
  5. The Relation Between Absolute and Relative Identity3



"Griffin (Nicholas) - General Terms"

Source: Griffin - Relative Identity, 1977, Chapter 2


Sections
  1. Singular and General Terms;
  2. +Count and -Count General Terms;
  3. Notation for General Nouns;
  4. Mass Terms



"Griffin (Nicholas) - Sortals"

Source: Griffin - Relative Identity, 1977, Chapter 3


Sections
  1. Intuitive and Grammatical Criteria for Sortals1;
  2. Mereological Criteria;
  3. Countability Criteria;
  4. The Structure of Sorts



"Griffin (Nicholas) - Criteria Of Identity"

Source: Griffin - Relative Identity, 1977, Chapter 4


Sections
  1. The Concept of Identity Criteria;
  2. Sortals1 and Criteria of Identity;
  3. Mass Terms and Criteria of Identity;
  4. Dummy Sortals2 and Criteria of Identity



"Griffin (Nicholas) - Ultimate Sortals"

Source: Griffin - Relative Identity, 1977, Chapter 5


Sections
  1. The Structure of Ultimate Sorts;
  2. The Restriction Principle;
  3. The Uniqueness Principle



"Griffin (Nicholas) - (D)-Relative Identity Theory"

Source: Griffin - Relative Identity, 1977, Chapter 6


Sections
  1. Two Irrelevant (D)-Theses;
  2. The Relation Between (R) and (D);
  3. The Fregean Analysis;
  4. Alternative (D)-Theses



"Griffin (Nicholas) - Wiggins's (D)-Relative Identity Theory"

Source: Griffin - Relative Identity, 1977, Chapter 7


Sections
  1. Wiggins's Theory;
  2. Bradley's Criticisms;
  3. Nelson's Criticisms;
  4. Perry's Criticisms;
  5. That (D) is False



"Griffin (Nicholas) - Some General Arguments On (R)-Relative Identity Theory"

Source: Griffin - Relative Identity, 1977, Chapter 8


Sections
  1. Formal Requirements of Identity;
  2. Substitutivity Principles for Relative Identity1;
  3. Geach's Argument from Ontology;
  4. Zemach's Argument from Open-texture;
  5. Quantification and Semantics



"Griffin (Nicholas) - The Constitutive 'Is'"

Source: Griffin - Relative Identity, 1977, Chapter 9


Sections
  1. Constitutive Uses of 'Is';
  2. The Nature of Constitutivity;
  3. The Alleged Independence of the Constitutive 'Is'



"Griffin (Nicholas) - On Some Examples of (R)."

Source: Griffin - Relative Identity, 1977, Chapter 10


Sections
  1. The Five Ways of David Wiggins;
  2. The Relativist's Alleged Referential Equivocation;
  3. Are Relative Identity1 Statements Really Identity Statements?



"Griffin (Nicholas) - Wiggins On Sortals"

Source: Griffin - Relative Identity, 1977, Appendix 1



"Griffin (Nicholas) - Cartwright On Quantities"

Source: Griffin - Relative Identity, 1977, Appendix 2



Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



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