Noûs 42 (1):1–16 (2008)

Nicholas J. J. Smith
University of Sydney
In this paper I present a new argument against vague identity — one that is more fundamental than existing arguments — and I also try to explain why we find the idea of vague identity puzzling, in a way that will dispel the puzzlement. In brief, my argument is this: to make clear sense of something, one must at least model it set-theoretically; but due to the special place of identity in set-theoretic models, any vague relation that one does model set-theoretically will not be identity, for real identity will already be there, built into the background of the model, and perfectly precise.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1468-0068.2007.00671.x
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,316
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Reference and Essence.Nathan U. Salmon - 1981 - Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
Can There Be Vague Objects?Gareth Evans - 1978 - Analysis 38 (4):208.
Can There Be Vague Objects?Gareth Evans - 2004 - In Tim Crane & Katalin Farkas (eds.), Metaphysics: A Guide and Anthology. Oxford University Press.
Vagueness in Reality.Timothy Williamson - 2003 - In Michael J. Loux & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Metaphysics. Oxford University Press.

View all 13 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Identity and Individuality in Quantum Theory.Steven French - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Quantum Mechanics and Metaphysical Indeterminacy.George Darby - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (2):227-245.
Indeterminacy and Vagueness: Logic and Metaphysics.Peter Van Inwagen - 2009 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 1 (2):1 - 19.

View all 13 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
122 ( #97,097 of 2,519,483 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #271,332 of 2,519,483 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes