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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References found in this work

The Foundations of Mathematics and Other Logical Essays.Frank Plumpton Ramsey - 1925 - London, England: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Edited by R. B. Braithwaite.
Identity in physics: a historical, philosophical, and formal analysis.Steven French & Decio Krause - 2006 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Decio Krause.
Doubt truth to be a liar.Graham Priest - 2006 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Introduction to mathematical logic.Elliott Mendelson - 1964 - Princeton, N.J.,: Van Nostrand.

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