The non-identity of a material thing and its matter

Mind 112 (446):195-234 (2003)
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There is a well-known argument from Leibniz's Law for the view that coincident material things may be distinct. For given that they differ in their properties, then how can they be the same? However, many philosophers have suggested that this apparent difference in properties is the product of a linguistic illusion; there is just one thing out there, but different sorts or guises under which it may be described. I attempt to show that this ‘opacity’ defence has intolerable consequences for the functioning of our language and that the original argument should therefore be allowed to stand.



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Kit Fine
New York University

Citations of this work

Mereology.Achille C. Varzi - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Parthood.Theodore Sider - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (1):51-91.
Spatio-temporal coincidence and the grounding problem.Karen Bennett - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 118 (3):339-371.
Classical Opacity.Michael Caie, Jeremy Goodman & Harvey Lederman - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (3):524-566.

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References found in this work

Meaning and Necessity: A Study in Semantics and Modal Logic.Rudolf Carnap - 1947 - Chicago, IL, USA: University of Chicago Press.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
Four Dimensionalism.Theodore Sider - 1997 - Philosophical Review 106 (2):197-231.
Ontological relativity.W. V. O. Quine - 1968 - Journal of Philosophy 65 (7):185-212.

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