Is Identity Really so Fundamental?

Foundations of Science 24 (1):51-71 (2019)
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Abstract

We critically examine the claim that identity is a fundamental concept. According to those putting forward this thesis, there are four related reasons that can be called upon to ground the fundamental character of identity: identity is presupposed in every conceptual system; identity is required to characterize individuality; identity cannot be defined; the intelligibility of quantification requires identity. We address each of these points and argue that none of them advances compelling reasons to hold that identity is fundamental; in fact, most of the tasks that seem to require identity may be performed without identity. So, in the end, identity may not be a fundamental concept after all.

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Author Profiles

Décio Krause
Federal University of Santa Catarina
Jonas R. B. Arenhart
Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina

Citations of this work

Identity and Individuality in Quantum Theory.Steven French - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Identical Quantum Particles as Distinguishable Objects.Dennis Dieks & Andrea Lubberdink - 2022 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 53 (3):259-274.
Identical Quantum Particles as Distinguishable Objects.Dennis Dieks & Andrea Lubberdink - 2020 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 53 (3):1-16.

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