Identity and discernibility in philosophy and logic

Review of Symbolic Logic 5 (1):162-186 (2012)
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Abstract

Questions about the relation between identity and discernibility are important both in philosophy and in model theory. We show how a philosophical question about identity and dis- cernibility can be ‘factorized’ into a philosophical question about the adequacy of a formal language to the description of the world, and a mathematical question about discernibility in this language. We provide formal definitions of various notions of discernibility and offer a complete classification of their logical relations. Some new and surprising facts are proved; for instance, that weak dis- cernibility corresponds to discernibility in a language with constants for every object, and that weak discernibility is the most discerning nontrivial discernibility relation.

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Author Profiles

Øystein Linnebo
University of Oslo
Richard Pettigrew
University of Bristol
James Ladyman
University of Bristol

Citations of this work

The Case Against Factorism: On the Labels of $$\otimes$$-Factor Hilbert-Spaces of Similar Particles in Quantum Mechanics.F. A. Muller & Gijs Leegwater - 2022 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 53 (3):291-306.
The Rise of Relationals.F. A. Muller - 2015 - Mind 124 (493):201-237.
Qualitative properties and relations.Jan Plate - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (4):1297-1322.
Dissecting weak discernibility of quanta.Tomasz Bigaj - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 50:43-53.
Leibniz, Kant, and Referring in the Quantum Domain.Cord Friebe - 2022 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 53 (3):275-290.

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References found in this work

Universals and scientific realism.David Malet Armstrong - 1978 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
The identity of indiscernibles.Max Black - 1952 - Mind 61 (242):153-164.
Are quantum particles objects?Simon Saunders - 2006 - Analysis 66 (1):52-63.
Discerning Fermions.Simon Saunders & F. A. Muller - 2008 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (3):499 - 548.

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