Vague Identity

Edited by Eric de Araujo (Purdue University, Purdue University)
About this topic
Summary For any objects, it is traditionally assumed that that either the objects are identical or distinct, and not both. Vague identity is a view that rejects this absoluteness of identity. Its proponents claim that it is possible that it be vague whether or not some objects are identical. Some discussions run this together with Parsons' view that it is possible it be indeterminate whether or not objects are identical. Opponents argue that a vague or indeterminate identity relation violates Leibniz's Law because there is a property that one object has and the other lacks (for example, a case where an object a has the property indeterminately identical to b, while object b does not). The objection continues that any relation violating Leibniz's Law cannot be the identity relation.
Key works Parsons gives the most thorough defense of the view in Parsons 2000, though he distinguishes his indeterminate identity from vague identity. Evans 1978 and Appendix I of Salmon 1981 give the objection that vague identity violates Leibniz's Law. Lewis 1988 and Hirsch 1999 distinguish between semantic and metaphysical interpretations of this objection. In addition to Parsons 2000, Barnes 2009 and Keefe 1995 defend the view from this objection. Additionally, Parsons & Woodruff 1995, Woodruff & Parsons 1997, and Woodruff & Parsons 1999 develop the non-classical logic for indeterminate identity that features in Parsons 2000.
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  1. Different Samenesses: Essays on Non-Standard Views of Identity.Eric de Araujo - 2021 - Dissertation, The Ohio State University
    Few views are as widely held as the Standard View of Identity. Here I am concerned with minority views that depart from the standard account. First, I attempt to illuminate such views and the debates concerning them by identifying the principles of identity at issue, articulating some of the assumptions underlying the debates, and presenting some of the evidence used against the Standard View of Identity. Second, I enter two of these debates myself. I first defend two Non-Standard Views of (...)
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  2. The Determinable-Based Account of Metaphysical Indeterminacy and Vague Identity.Radim Bĕlohrad - 2020 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 34 (3):23-50.
    This paper focuses on Jessica Wilson’s determinable-based account of metaphysical indeterminacy and its relationship to the concept of vague identity. The determinable-based account comprises a distinction between meta-level and object-level accounts of metaphysical indeterminacy. I first argue that the distinction cannot be clearly applied to some theories. In particular, I argue that even though Wilson categorizes the constitution account of metaphysical indeterminacy as a meta-level account, from one perspective it can be defensibly regarded as an object-level account, because it is (...)
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  3. The Conflict of Rigidity and Precision in Designation.Daniele Bertini - 2020 - Logos and Episteme 11 (1):19-27.
    My paper provides reasons in support of the view that vague identity claims originate from a conflict between rigidity and precision in designation. To put this stricly, let x be the referent of the referential terms P and Q. Then, that the proposition “that any x being both a P and a Q” is vague involves that the semantic intuitions at work in P and Q reveal a conflict between P and Q being simultaneously rigid and precise designators. After having (...)
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  4. Fiction and Indeterminate Identity.David Friedell - 2020 - Analysis 80 (2):221-229.
    In ‘Against fictional realism’ Anthony Everett argues that fictional realism leads to indeterminate identity. He concludes that we should reject fictional realism. Everett’s paper and much of the ensuing literature does not discuss what exactly fictional characters are. This is a mistake. I argue that some versions of abstract creationism about fictional characters lead to indeterminate identity, and that some versions of Platonism about fictional characters lead only to indeterminate reference. In doing so I show that Everett’s argument poses a (...)
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  5. How Many there Are Isn’t.Jonah P. B. Goldwater - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (3):1037-1057.
    A world where there exists n concrete things is a count-determinate world. The orthodox view is count-determinacy is necessary; if to be is to be the value of a variable and the domain of quantification is enumerable, count-determinacy follows. Yet I argue how many there are can be indeterminate; count-indeterminacy is metaphysically possible and even likely actual. Notably, my argument includes rebuttals of Evans’ reductio of indeterminate identity and the Lewis/Sider ‘argument from vagueness’. Count-indeterminacy should therefore be recognized as another (...)
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  6. Ontic Indeterminacy: Chinese Madhyamaka in the Contemporary Context.Chien-Hsing Ho - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (3):419-433.
    A number of analytical philosophers have recently endorsed the view that the world itself is indeterminate in some respect. Intriguingly, ideas similar to the view are expressed by thinkers from Chinese Madhyamaka Buddhism, which may shed light on the current discussion of worldly indeterminacy. Using as a basis Chinese Madhyamaka thought, together with Jessica Wilson’s account of indeterminacy, I develop an ontological conception of indeterminacy, termed ontic indeterminacy, which centres on two complementary ideas—conclusive indeterminability and provisional determinability. I show that (...)
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  7. Vague Fictional Objects.Elisa Paganini - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (2):158-184.
    ABSTRACTI propose a different account of fictional objects from the ones already present in the literature. According to my account, fictional objects are culturally created abstract objects dependent for their existence on the pretence attitude adopted by a group of people towards a single fictional content. My work is divided into three parts: in the first one, I present how fictional objects come into existence according to my proposal; in the second part, I illustrate how the existence of fictional objects (...)
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  8. Indeterminacy of Identity and Advance Directives for Death After Dementia.Andrew Sneddon - 2020 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 23 (4):705-715.
    A persistent question in discussions of the ethics of advance directives for euthanasia is whether patients who go through deep psychological changes retain their identity. Rather than seek an account of identity that answers this question, I argue that responsible policy should directly address indeterminacy about identity directly. Three sorts of indeterminacy are distinguished. Two of these—epistemic indeterminacy and metaphysical indeterminacy—should be addressed in laws/policies regarding advance directives for euthanasia.
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  9. Powerful Logic: Prime Matter as Principle of Individuation and Pure Potency.Paul Symington - 2020 - Review of Metaphysics 73 (3):495-529.
    A lean hylomorphism stands as a metaphysical holy grail. An embarrassing feature of traditional hylomorphic ontologies is prime matter. Prime matter is both so basic that it cannot be examined (in principle) and its engagement with the other hylomorphic elements is far from clear. One particular problem posed by prime matter is how it is to be understood both as a principle of individuation for material substances and as pure potency. I present Thomas Aquinas’s way of squeezing some intelligibility out (...)
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  10. Indeterminate Identities, Supervaluationism, and Quantifiers.Achille C. Varzi - 2020 - Analytic Philosophy 61 (3):218-235.
    I am a friend of supervaluationism. A statement lacks a definite truth value if, and only if, it comes out true on some admissible ways of precisifying the semantics of the relevant vocabulary and false on others. In this paper, I focus on the special case of identity statements. I take it that such statements, too, may occasionally suffer a truth-value gap, including philosophically significant instances. Yet there is a potentially devastating objection that can be raised against the supervaluationist treatment (...)
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  11. Constitution, Vague Objects, and Persistence.Radim Bělohrad - 2019 - Prolegomena: Časopis Za Filozofiju 18 (1):5–26.
    In this paper, I assess the analysis of vagueness of objects in terms of the theory of constitution with respect to the notion of vague identity. Some proponents of the constitution theory see it as an advantage of their account that analysing the spatial and temporal vagueness of objects in terms of the relation of vague constitution avoids commitment to vague identity, which is seen as a controversial notion. I argue that even though the constitution theory may plausibly be applied (...)
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  12. On Three Attempts to Rebut the Evans Argument Against Indeterminate Identity.Radim Bělohrad - 2019 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 19 (1):137-152.
    The goal of this paper is to assess three arguments that have been proposed to rebut the idea that the notion of indeterminate identity is incoherent. In the first part, the author presents Gareth Evans’ argument purporting to show the incoherence of indeterminate identity. Next, the author assesses a rebuttal proposed by E. J. Lowe. Although the rebuttal seems sound, Harold Noonan has shown that its scope is limited. After that, a rebuttal by Peter van Inwagen is analysed. The author (...)
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  13. Metaphysical Vagueness Without Vague Objects.Al Abasnezhad & C. S. I. Jenkins - 2018 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 7 (4):278-283.
    Elizabeth Barnes and Robert Williams have developed a theory of metaphysical indeterminacy, via which they defend the theoretical legitimacy of vague objects. In this paper, we argue that while the Barnes–Williams theory supplies a viable account of genuine metaphysical vagueness, it cannot underwrite an account of genuinely vague objects. First we clarify the distinction between these two key theses. Then we argue that the Barnes–Williams theory of metaphysical vagueness not only fails to deliver genuinely vague objects, it in fact provides (...)
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  14. The Unimportance of Being Any Future Person.Johan E. Gustafsson - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (3):745-750.
    Derek Parfit’s argument against the platitude that identity is what matters in survival does not work given his intended reading of the platitude, namely, that what matters in survival to some future time is being identical with someone who is alive at that time. I develop Parfit’s argument so that it works against the platitude on this intended reading.
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  15. Fictional Realism, Linguistic Indeterminacy, and Criteria of ‘Identity’.Ben Cleary - 2017 - Journal of Philosophical Research 42:259-276.
    Anthony Everett has argued that fictional realism entails that there are metaphysically indeterminate identity facts and that there are true contradictions. Ross Cameron and Brendan Murday independently reply to Everett’s arguments by proposing a view on which fictional realism entails merely linguistic indeterminacy and does not entail true contradictions. While I agree with the idea behind Murday’s and Cameron’s view, the specific details have some undesirable consequences about sentences containing an ‘according to the fiction’ operator. Furthermore, they cannot give a (...)
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  16. Vague Objects and Vague Identity: New Essays on Ontic Vagueness.Jon Cogburn - 2017 - Analysis 77 (2):468-473.
    Vague Objects and Vague Identity: New Essays on Ontic Vagueness By AkibaKen and AbasnezhadAliSpringer, 2014. x + 360 pp. £117.00.
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  17. Vague Objects and Vague Identity: New Essays on Ontic Vagueness.Jon Cogburn - 2017 - Analysis 77 (2):468-473.
    © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Analysis Trust. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: [email protected] key virtue of Vague Objects and Vague Identity is how it includes so many essays that consider the particular ways vagueness manifests in different kinds of entities, including meanings, part-whole relations, the very small as understood by quantum mechanics, people, sensations, sets, ordinals, cardinals and abstractions. In every case, the author has something interesting to say not just (...)
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  18. Fictional Realism and Metaphysically Indeterminate Identity.Wouter A. Cohen - 2017 - Analysis 77 (3):511-519.
    Fictional realists maintain that fictional characters are part of the world’s ontology. In an influential article, Anthony Everett argues that the fictional realist is thereby committing herself to problematic entities. Among these are entities that are indeterminately identical. Recently, Ross Cameron and Richard Woodward have answered Everett’s worry using the same strategy. They argue that the fictional realist can bypass the problematic identities by contending that they are merely semantically indeterminate. This paper concisely surveys Everett’s original argument, Cameron’s and Woodward’s (...)
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  19. Deep Indeterminacy in Physics and Fiction.George Darby, Martin Pickup & Jon Robson - 2017 - In Otávio Bueno, Steven French, George Darby & Dean Rickles (eds.), Thinking About Science, Reflecting on Art: Bringing Aesthetics and Philosophy of Science Together. Routledge.
    Indeterminacy in its various forms has been the focus of a great deal of philosophical attention in recent years. Much of this discussion has focused on the status of vague predicates such as ‘tall’, ‘bald’, and ‘heap’. It is determinately the case that a seven-foot person is tall and that a five-foot person is not tall. However, it seems difficult to pick out any determinate height at which someone becomes tall. How best to account for this phenomenon is, of course, (...)
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  20. Vague Objects Within Classical Logic and Standard Mereology, and Without Indeterminate Identity.Elisa Paganini - 2017 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 46 (4):457-465.
    Weatherson argues that whoever accepts classical logic, standard mereology and the difference between vague objects and any others, should conclude that there are no vague objects. Barnes and Williams claim that a supporter of vague objects who accepts classical logic and standard mereology should recognize that the existence of vague objects implies indeterminate identity. Even though it is not clearly stated, they all seem to be committed to the assumption that reality is ultimately constituted by mereological atoms. This assumption is (...)
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  21. Identity in Fiction.Richard Woodward - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (3):646-671.
    Anthony Everett () argues that those who embrace the reality of fictional entities run into trouble when it comes to specifying criteria of character identity. More specifically, he argues that realists must reject natural principles governing the identity and distinctness of fictional characters due to the existence of fictions which leave it indeterminate whether certain characters are identical and the existence of fictions which say inconsistent things about the identities of their characters. Everett's critique has deservedly drawn much attention and (...)
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  22. How (Not) To Argue Against Vague Object.Ali Abasnezhad - 2016 - Metaphysica 17 (2).
    In a series of papers, Elizabeth Barnes and Robert Williams have developed a theory of metaphysical vagueness in which they argue for legitimacy of vague object and indeterminate identity. In his recent paper, Ken Akiba raises two objections against Barnes-Williams theory, concluding that it is ill-conceived and wrong-headed. In one objection, he argues that the theory implies indeterminate identity between referentially determinate objects to which λ-abstraction is applicable, and hence Evans’ argument ultimately goes through. In the other, he objects that (...)
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  23. How (Not) To Argue Against Vague Object.Ali Abasnezhad - 2016 - Metaphysica: International Journal for Ontology and Metaphysics 17.
    In a series of papers, Elizabeth Barnes and Robert Williams have developed a theory of metaphysical vagueness in which they argue for legitimacy of vague object and indeterminate identity. In his recent paper, Ken Akiba raises two objections against Barnes-Williams theory, concluding that it is ill-conceived and wrong-headed. In one objection, he argues that the theory implies indeterminate identity between referentially determinate objects to which λ-abstraction is applicable, and hence Evans’ argument ultimately goes through. In the other, he objects that (...)
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  24. A Note on a Remark of Evans.Wolfgang Barz - 2016 - Polish Journal of Philosophy 10 (2):7-15.
    In his seminal paper, ‘Can There Be Vague Objects?’ (1978), Gareth Evans advanced an argument purporting to prove that the idea of indeterminate identity is incoherent. Aware that his argument was incomplete as it stands, Evans added a remark at the end of his paper, in which he explained how the original argument needed to be modified to arrive at an explicit contradiction. This paper aims to develop a modified version of Evans’ original argument, which I argue is more promising (...)
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  25. Definite Descriptions and Indeterminate Identity (Extended Abstract).Derek von Barandy - 2016 - Logiko-Filosofskie Studii 13 (2):111-112.
  26. Fictional Realism and Indeterminate Identity.Brendan Murday - 2015 - Journal of Philosophical Research 40:205-225.
    Fictional realists hold that fictional characters are real entities. However, Anthony Everett [“Against Fictional Realism”, Journal of Philosophy (2005)] notes that some fictions leave it indeterminate whether character A is identical to character B, while other fictions depict A as simultaneously identical and distinct from B. Everett argues that these fictions commit the realist to indeterminate and impossible identity relations among actual entities, and that as such realism is untenable. This paper defends fictional realism: for fictions depicting non-classical identity between (...)
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  27. Vagueness in the World: A Supervaluationist Approach.Ali Abasnezhad - 2014 - In Ken Akiba (ed.), Vague Objects and Vague Identity: New Essays on Ontic Vagueness.
    A naïve perspective on the world suggests that the world we live in is full of vague objects. In this chapter, a version of the supervaluationist framework will be proposed to provide a systematic conception of such a naïve perspective. Precisifications of a vague object will be characterized as objects that, were they actual objects, every determinate truth about the vague object would be true about them. It will be argued that this view is more effective than other versions of (...)
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  28. Vague Objects and Vague Identity: New Essays on Ontic Vagueness.K. Akiba (ed.) - 2014 - Dordrecht, Netherland: Springer.
    This unique anthology of new, contributed essays offers a range of perspectives on various aspects of ontic vagueness. It seeks to answer core questions pertaining to onticism, the view that vagueness exists in the world itself. The questions to be addressed include whether vague objects must have vague identity, and whether ontic vagueness has a distinctive logic, one that is not shared by semantic or epistemic vagueness. The essays in this volume explain the motivations behind onticism, such as the plausibility (...)
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  29. A Defense of Indeterminate Distinctness.Ken Akiba - 2014 - Synthese 191 (15):3557-3573.
    On the one hand, philosophers have presented numerous apparent examples of indeterminate individuation, i.e., examples in which two things are neither determinately identical nor determinately distinct. On the other hand, some have argued against even the coherence of the very idea of indeterminate individuation. This paper defends the possibility of indeterminate individuation against Evans’s argument and some other arguments. The Determinacy of Identity—the thesis that identical things are determinately identical—is distinguished from the Determinacy of Distinctness—the thesis that distinct things are (...)
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  30. Vague Objects and Vague Identity: New Essays on Ontic Vagueness.Ken Akiba & Ali Abasnezhad (eds.) - 2014 - Dordrecht, Netherland: Springer.
    This unique anthology of new, contributed essays offers a range of perspectives on various aspects of ontic vagueness. It seeks to answer core questions pertaining to onticism, the view that vagueness exists in the world itself. The questions to be addressed include whether vague objects must have vague identity, and whether ontic vagueness has a distinctive logic, one that is not shared by semantic or epistemic vagueness. The essays in this volume explain the motivations behind onticism, such as the plausibility (...)
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  31. Metaphysical Indeterminacy, Properties, and Quantum Theory.Alisa Bokulich - 2014 - Res Philosophica 91 (3):449-475.
    It has frequently been suggested that quantum mechanics may provide a genuine case of ontic vagueness or metaphysical indeterminacy. However, discussions of quantum theory in the vagueness literature are often cursory and, as I shall argue, have in some respects been misguided. Hitherto much of the debate over ontic vagueness and quantum theory has centered on the “indeterminate identity” construal of ontic vagueness, and whether the quantum phenomenon of entanglement produces particles whose identity is indeterminate. I argue that this way (...)
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  32. Castles Built on Clouds: Vague Identity and Vague Objects.Benjamin L. Curtis & Harold W. Noonan - 2014 - In Ken Akiba & Ali Abasnezhad (eds.), Vague Objects and Vague Identity: New Essays on Ontic Vagueness. Springer. pp. 305-326.
    Can identity itself be vague? Can there be vague objects? Does a positive answer to either question entail a positive answer to the other? In this paper we answer these questions as follows: No, No, and Yes. First, we discuss Evans’s famous 1978 argument and argue that the main lesson that it imparts is that identity itself cannot be vague. We defend the argument from objections and endorse this conclusion. We acknowledge, however, that the argument does not by itself establish (...)
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  33. Vagueness in the World; a Supervaluationist Approach.Davood Hosseini & Ali Abasnezhad - 2014 - In Ken Akiba & Ali Abasnezhad (eds.), Vague Objects and Vague Identity, New Essays on Ontic Vagueness. pp. 239-256.
    Russell once said that “Vagueness and precision alike are characteristics which can only belong to a representation, of which language is an example. They have to do with the relation between a representation and that which it represents. Apart from representation, whether cognitive or mechanical, there can be no such thing as vagueness or precision; things are what they are, and there is an end of it” (1923). In other words, expressions like ontological vagueness (and even ontological precision) are category (...)
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  34. Identity.Harold Noonan & Benjamin L. Curtis - 2014 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Much of the debate about identity in recent decades has been about personal identity, and specifically about personal identity over time, but identity generally, and the identity of things of other kinds, have also attracted attention. Various interrelated problems have been at the centre of discussion, but it is fair to say that recent work has focussed particularly on the following areas: the notion of a criterion of identity; the correct analysis of identity over time, and, in particular, the disagreement (...)
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  35. Indeterminate Comprehension.Jonathan A. Simon - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (1):39-48.
    Can we solve the Problem of the Many, and give a general account of the indeterminacy in definite descriptions that give rise to it, by appealing to metaphysically indeterminate entities? I argue that we cannot. I identify a feature common to the relevant class of definite descriptions, and derive a contradiction from the claim that each such description is satisfied by a metaphysically indeterminate entity.
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  36. One Bald Man… Two Bald Men… Three Bald Men: Aahh Aahh Aahh Aahh Aaaahhhh!Nicholas J. J. Smith - 2014 - In Ken Akiba & Ali Abasnezhad (eds.), Vague Objects and Vague Identity: New Essays on Ontic Vagueness. Springer. pp. 197--216.
    In the context of classical (crisp, precise) sets, there is a familiar connection between the notions of counting, ordering and cardinality. When it comes to vague collections, the connection has not been kept in central focus: there have been numerous proposals regarding the cardinality of vague collections, but these proposals have tended to be discussed in isolation from issues of counting and ordering. My main concern in this paper is to draw focus back onto the connection between these notions. I (...)
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  37. Identity, Leibniz's Law and Non-Transitive Reasoning.Pablo Cobreros, Paul Egré, David Ripley & Robert Rooij - 2013 - Metaphysica 14 (2):253-264.
    Arguments based on Leibniz's Law seem to show that there is no room for either indefinite or contingent identity. The arguments seem to prove too much, but their conclusion is hard to resist if we want to keep Leibniz's Law. We present a novel approach to this issue, based on an appropriate modification of the notion of logical consequence.
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  38. Against the Modal Argument.Christopher S. Gifford - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (3):627-646.
    The relationship between alethic modality and indeterminacy is yet to be clarified. A modal argument—an argument that appeals to alethic modality—against vague objects given by Joseph Moore offers a potential clarification of the relationship; it is proposed that there are cases for which the following holds: if it is indeterminate whether A = B then it is possible that it is determinate that A = B. However, the argument faces three problems. The problems remove the argument’s threat against vague objects (...)
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  39. Introduction: Vagueness and Ontology.Geert Keil - 2013 - Metaphysica 14 (2):149-164.
    The article introduces a special issue of the journal _Metaphysica_ on vagueness and ontology. The conventional view has it that all vagueness is semantic or representational. Russell, Dummett, Evans and Lewis, inter alia, have argued that the notion of “ontic” or “metaphysical” vagueness is not even intelligible. In recent years, a growing minority of philosophers have tried to make sense of the notion and have spelled it out in various ways. The article gives an overview and relates the idea of (...)
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  40. Everett’s Dilemma: How Fictional Realists Can Cope with Ontic Vagueness.Daniel Alexander Milne - 2013 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 88 (1):33-54.
    New troublemakers threaten the nonexistents' realm. These are vaguely identical and vaguely existent in stories. Anthony Everett argued that Fictional Realism implies that such creatures exist and thus, as vague objects can't exist, that Fictional Realism is false. Based on the observation that Everett's notion of vagueness-in-a-story is ambiguous, I argue that reading it as a story's leaving matters open leads to the problem of fictional general existential claims and that reading it as a story's incorporating innerfictional ontic vagueness leads (...)
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  41. Interrelations and Dissimilarities Between Distinct Approaches to Ontic Vagueness.Marc Andree Weber - 2013 - Metaphysica 14 (2):181-195.
    This paper outlines the often striking parallels of various approaches to ontic vagueness, as well as their even more striking differences. Though circling around the same idea, some of these approaches were developed to solve quite diverse theoretical problems and encounter different challenges. In addition to these difficulties, the frequently disregarded epistemological problems of all theories of ontic vagueness turn out to be even more serious under critical scrutiny. The same holds for the difficulties of deciding, for every case of (...)
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  42. The Paradox of Fission and the Ontology of Ordinary Objects.Thomas Sattig - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (3):594-623.
    What happens to a person in a case of fission? Does it survive? Does it go out of existence? Or is the outcome indeterminate? Since each description of fission based on the persistence conditions associated with our ordinary concept of a person seems to clash with one or more platitudes of common sense about the spatiotemporal profile of macroscopic objects, fission threatens the common-sense conception of persons with inconsistency. Standard responses to this paradox agree that the common-sense conception of persons (...)
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  43. Digital Pictures, Sampling, and Vagueness: The Ontology of Digital Pictures.John Zeimbekis - 2012 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 70 (1):43-53.
    Digital pictures can be type-identical in respect of colours, shapes and sizes (allographic), but they are not tokens of notational systems, because the types under which they are identical have vague limits and do not meet the requirements for notational characters. Digital display devices are designed to instantiate only limited ranges of objective properties (light intensities, sizes and shapes). Those ranges keep differences in objective magnitudes below sensory discrimination thresholds, and thus define objective conditions sufficient, but not necessary, for the (...)
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  44. Can Persistence Be a Matter of Convention?Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - 2011 - Axiomathes 21 (4):507-529.
    This paper asks whether persistence can be a matter of convention. It argues that in a rather unexciting de dicto sense persistence is indeed a matter of convention, but it rejects the notion that persistence can be a matter of convention in a more substantial de re sense. However, scenarios can be imagined that appear to involve conventional persistence of the latter kind. Since there are strong reasons for thinking that such conventionality is impossible, it is desirable that our metaphysical-cum-semantic (...)
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  45. Ordinary Objects.Daniel Z. Korman - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    An encyclopedia entry which covers various revisionary conceptions of which macroscopic objects there are, and the puzzles and arguments that motivate these conceptions: sorites arguments, the argument from vagueness, the puzzles of material constitution, arguments against indeterminate identity, arguments from arbitrariness, debunking arguments, the overdetermination argument, and the problem of the many.
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  46. Arguments by Leibniz’s Law in Metaphysics.Ofra Magidor - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (3):180-195.
    Leibniz’s Law (or as it sometimes called, ‘the Indiscerniblity of Identicals’) is a widely accepted principle governing the notion of numerical identity. The principle states that if a is identical to b, then any property had by a is also had by b. Leibniz’s Law may seem like a trivial principle, but its apparent consequences are far from trivial. The law has been utilised in a wide range of arguments in metaphysics, many leading to substantive and controversial conclusions. This article (...)
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  47. Vague Objects Without Ontically Indeterminate Identity.Elisa Paganini - 2011 - Erkenntnis 74 (3):351-362.
    The supporter of vague objects has been long challenged by the following ‘Argument from Identity’: 1) if there are vague objects, then there is ontically indeterminate identity; 2) there is no ontically indeterminate identity; therefore, 3) there are no vague objects. Some supporters of vague objects have argued that 1) is false. Noonan (Analysis 68: 174–176, 2008) grants that 1) does not hold in general, but claims that ontically indeterminate identity is indeed implied by the assumption that there are vague (...)
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  48. Fictional Characters and Indeterminate Identity.Terence Parsons - 2011 - In Franck Lihoreau (ed.), Truth in Fiction. Ontos Verlag. pp. 38--27.
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  49. Weakly Classical Theories of Identity.Joshua Schechter - 2011 - Review of Symbolic Logic 4 (4):607-644.
    There are well-known quasi-formal arguments that identity is a "strict" relation in at least the following three senses: (1) There is a single identity relation and a single distinctness relation; (2) There are no contingent cases of identity or distinctness; and (3) There are no vague or indeterminate cases of identity or distinctness. However, the situation is less clear cut than it at first may appear. There is a natural formal theory of identity that is very close to the standard (...)
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  50. Quantum Mechanics and Metaphysical Indeterminacy.George Darby - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (2):227-245.
    There has been recent interest in formulating theories of non-representational indeterminacy. The aim of this paper is to clarify the relevance of quantum mechanics to this project. Quantum-mechanical examples of vague objects have been offered by various authors, displaying indeterminate identity, in the face of the famous Evans argument that such an idea is incoherent. It has also been suggested that the quantum-mechanical treatment of state-dependent properties exhibits metaphysical indeterminacy. In both cases it is important to consider the details of (...)
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