Steven French and Decio Krause examine the metaphysical foundations of quantum physics. They draw together historical, logical, and philosophical perspectives on the fundamental nature of quantum particles and offer new insights on a range of important issues. Focusing on the concepts of identity and individuality, the authors explore two alternative metaphysical views; according to one, quantum particles are no different from books, tables, and people in this respect; according to the other, they most certainly are. Each view comes with (...) certain costs attached and after describing their origins in the history of quantum theory, the authors carefully consider whether these costs are worth bearing. Recent contributions to these discussions are analyzed in detail and the authors present their own original perspective on the issues. The final chapter suggests how this perspective can be taken forward in the context of quantum field theory. (shrink)
When philosophers address personal identity, they usually explore numerical identity: what are the criteria for a person's continuing existence? When non-philosophers address personal identity, they often have in mind narrative identity: Which characteristics of a particular person are salient to her self-conception? This book develops accounts of both senses of identity, arguing that both are normatively important, and is unique in its exploration of a range of issues in bioethics through the lens of identity. (...) Defending a biological view of our numerical identity and a framework for understanding narrative identity, DeGrazia investigates various issues for which considerations of identity prove critical: the definition of death; the authority of advance directives in cases of severe dementia; the use of enhancement technologies; prenatal genetic interventions; and certain types of reproductive choices. He demonstrates the power of personal identity theory to illuminate issues in bioethics as they bring philosophical theory to life. (shrink)
_Identity and Discrimination_, originally published in 1990 and the first book by respected philosopher Timothy Williamson, is now reissued and updated with the inclusion of significant new material. Williamson here proposes an original and rigorous theory linking identity, a relation central to metaphysics, and indiscriminability, a relation central to epistemology.__ Updated and reissued edition of Williamson’s first publication, with the inclusion of significant new material Argues for an original cognitive account of the relation between identity and discrimination that (...) has been influential in the philosophy of perception Pioneers the use of epistemic logic to solve puzzles about indiscriminability Develops the application of techniques from mathematical logic to understand issues about identity over time and across possible worlds. (shrink)
What does it mean to say that this person at this time is 'the same' as that person at an earlier time? If the brain is damaged or the memory lost, how far does a person's identity continue? In this book two eminent philosophers develop very different approaches to the problem.
Identity and Difference consists of English translations and the original German versions of two little-known lectures given in 1957 by Martin Heidegger, "The Principle of Identity" and "The Onto-theo-logical Constitution of Metaphysics.
are synthetic a priori judgements possible?" In both cases, i~thas usually been t'aken for granted in fife one case by Kant that synthetic a priori judgements were possible, and in the other case in contemporary,'d-". philosophical literature that contingent statements of identity are ppss. ible. I do not intend to deal with the Kantian question except to mention:ssj~".
According to realist structuralism, mathematical objects are places in abstract structures. We argue that in spite of its many attractions, realist structuralism must be rejected. For, first, mathematical structures typically contain intra-structurally indiscernible places. Second, any account of place-identity available to the realist structuralist entails that intra-structurally indiscernible places are identical. Since for her mathematical singular terms denote places in structures, she would have to say, for example, that 1 = − 1 in the group (Z, +). We call (...) this the identity problem and conclude that nominalism is presently the safest route for the structuralist. (shrink)
Personal identity deals with questions about ourselves qua people (or persons). Many of these questions are familiar ones that occur to everyone at some time: What am I? When did I begin? What will happen to me when I die? Discussions of personal identity go right back to the origins of Western philosophy, and most major figures have had something to say about it. (There is also a rich literature on personal identity in Eastern philosophy, which I (...) am not competent to discuss. Collins 1982 is a good source.). (shrink)
Our aim in this entry is to articulate the state of the art in the moral psychology of personal identity. We begin by discussing the major philosophical theories of personal identity, including their shortcomings. We then turn to recent psychological work on personal identity and the self, investigations that often illuminate our person-related normative concerns. We conclude by discussing the implications of this psychological work for some contemporary philosophical theories and suggesting fruitful areas for future work on (...) personal identity. (shrink)
Some authors have claimed that ante rem structuralism has problems with structures that have indiscernible places. In response, I argue that there is no requirement that mathematical objects be individuated in a non-trivial way. Metaphysical principles and intuitions to the contrary do not stand up to ordinary mathematical practice, which presupposes an identity relation that, in a sense, cannot be defined. In complex analysis, the two square roots of –1 are indiscernible: anything true of one of them is true (...) of the other. I suggest that i functions like a parameter in natural deduction systems. I gave an early version of this paper at a workshop on structuralism in mathematics and science, held in the Autumn of 2006, at Bristol University. Thanks to the organizers, particularly Hannes Leitgeb, James Ladyman, and Øystein Linnebo, to my commentator Richard Pettigrew, and to the audience there. The paper also benefited considerably from a preliminary session at the Arché Research Centre at the University of St Andrews. I am indebted to my colleagues Craige Roberts, for help with the linguistics literature, and Ben Caplan and Gabriel Uzquiano, for help with the metaphysics. Thanks also to Hannes Leitgeb and Jeffrey Ketland for reading an earlier version of the manuscript and making helpful suggestions. I also benefited from conversations with Richard Heck, John Mayberry, Kevin Scharp, and Jason Stanley. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
Visible Identities critiques the critiques of identity and of identity politics and argues that identities are real but not necessarily a political problem. Moreover, the book explores the material infrastructure of gendered identity, the experimental aspects of racial subjectivity for both whites and non-whites, and in several chapters looks specifically at Latio identity.
Identities formed with proper names may be contingent. this claim is made first through an example. the paper then develops a theory of the semantics of concrete things, with contingent identity as a consequence. this general theory lets concrete things be made up canonically from fundamental physical entities. it includes theories of proper names, variables, cross-world identity with respect to a sortal, and modal and dispositional properties. the theory, it is argued, is coherent and superior to its rivals, (...) in that it stems naturally from a systematic picture of the physical world. (shrink)
Are identity criteria grounding principles? A prima facie answer to this question is positive. Specifically, two-level identity criteria can be taken as principles related to issues of identity among objects of a given kind compared with objects of a more basic kind. Moreover, they are grounding metaphysical principles of some objects with regard to others. In the first part of the paper we criticise this prima facie natural reading of identity criteria. This result does not mean (...) that identity criteria could not be taken as grounding principles. In the second part, we propose some basic steps towards a conceptual reading of grounding. Such a way of understanding it goes along with an epistemic reading of identity criteria. (shrink)
The topic of personal identity has prompted some of the liveliest and most interesting debates in recent philosophy. In a fascinating new contribution to the discussion, Peter Unger presents a psychologically aimed, but physically based, account of our identity over time. While supporting the account, he explains why many influential contemporary philosophers have underrated the importance of physical continuity to our survival, casting a new light on the work of Lewis, Nagel, Nozick, Parfit, Perry, Shoemaker, and others. Deriving (...) from his discussion of our identity itself, Unger produces a novel but commonsensical theory of the relations between identity and some of our deepest concerns. In a conservative but flexible spirit, he explores the implications of his theory for questions of value and of the good life. (shrink)
The author attacks the view that identity, Like largeness, Is a relative relation. The primary advocate of the view that identity is relative is p.T. Geach. It is argued that geach has not shown that the failure of the identity of indiscernibles principle, As a truth of logic, Forces us to stop taking indiscernibility within particular formal theories or languages as a sufficient condition for identity. The author also argues that the whole notion of relative (...) class='Hi'>identity, As explicated by geach, Is very probably incoherent. (shrink)
Suppose that X and Y can’t possibly exist apart in reality; then—by definition—there’s no real distinction between them, only a conceptual distinction. There’s a conceptual distinction between a rectilinear figure’s triangularity and its trilaterality, for example, but no real distinction. In fundamental metaphysics there is no real distinction between an object’s categorical properties and its dispositional properties. So too there is no real distinction between an object and its properties. And in fundamental metaphysics, for X and Y to be such (...) that there is no real distinction between them is for them to be identical. (shrink)
Terence Parsons presents a lively and controversial study of philosophical questions about identity. Because many puzzles about identity remain unsolved, some people believe that they are questions that have no answers and that there is a problem with the language used to formulate them. Parsons explores a different possibility: that such puzzles lack answers because of the way the world is (or because of the way the world is not). He claims that there is genuine indeterminacy of (...) class='Hi'>identity in the world. He articulates such a view in detail and defends it from a host of criticisms. (shrink)
Phineas Gage’s story is typically offered as a paradigm example supporting the view that part of what matters for personal identity is a certain magnitude of similarity between earlier and later individuals. Yet, reconsidering a slight variant of Phineas Gage’s story indicates that it is not just magnitude of similarity, but also the direction of change that affects personal identity judgments; in some cases, changes for the worse are more seen as identity-severing than changes for the better (...) of comparable magnitude. Ironically, thinking carefully about Phineas Gage’s story tells against the thesis it is typically taken to support. (shrink)
Putative counterexamples to the Principle of Identity of Indiscernibles (PII) are notoriously inconclusive. I establish ground rules for debate in this area, offer a new response to such counterexamples for friends of the PII, but then argue that no response is entirely satisfactory. Finally, I undermine some positive arguments for PII.
ABSTRACT It has become standard to conceive of metalinguistic disagreement as motivated by a form of negotiation, aimed at reaching consensus because of the practical consequences of using a word with one content rather than another. This paper presents an alternative motive for expressing and pursuing metalinguistic disagreement. In using words with given criteria, we betray our location amongst social categories or groups. Because of this, metalinguistic disagreement can be used as a stage upon which to perform a social (...) class='Hi'>identity. The ways in which metalinguistic disagreements motivated in this way diverge in character from metalinguistic negotiations are described, as are several consequences of the existence of metalinguistic disagreements motivated in this way. (shrink)
The personal identity relation is of great interest to philosophers, who often consider fictional scenarios to test what features seem to make persons persist through time. But often real examples of neuroscientific interest also provide important tests of personal identity. One such example is the case of Phineas Gage – or at least the story often told about Phineas Gage. Many cite Gage’s story as example of severed personal identity; Phineas underwent such a tremendous change that Gage (...) “survived as a different man.” I discuss a recent empirical finding about judgments about this hypothetical. It is not just the magnitude of the change that affects identity judgment; it is also the negative direction of the change. I present an experiment suggesting that direction of change also affects neuroethical judgments. I conclude we should consider carefully the way in which improvements and deteriorations affect attributions of personal identity. This is particularly important since a number of the most crucial neuroethical decisions involve varieties of cognitive enhancements or deteriorations. (shrink)
What is the self? And how does it relate to the body? In the second edition of Personal Identity, Harold Noonan presents the major historical theories of personal identity, particularly those of Locke, Leibniz, Butler, Reid and Hume. Noonan goes on to give a careful analysis of what the problem of personal identity is, and its place in the context of more general puzzles about identity. He then moves on to consider the main issues and arguments (...) which are the subject of current debate, including the work of Bernard Williams and Derek Parfit, and makes new and challenging interpretations of them. This new edition contains additional material assessing the biological approach which has become increasingly popular in recent years, and extends the treatment of indeterminate identity to take account of the epistemic view of vagueness. This book covers the problem of personal identity from its origin in Locke's work to the most recent debates in the philosophical literature, and will be invaluablereading for any student of the topic. (shrink)
This is an expanded edition of Sydney Shoemaker's seminal collection of his work on interrelated issues in the philosophy of mind and metaphysics. It reproduces all of the original papers, many of which are now regarded as classics, and includes four papers published since the first edition appeared in 1984. Themes include the nature of self-knowledge and self-reference, personal identity, persistence over time, properties, mental states, and perceptual experience.A number of the papers, including 'Self-Reference and Self-Awareness', 'Persons and Their (...) Pasts', 'Causality and Properties', and 'The Inverted Spectrum', have remained at the centre of discussion of their topics. Several of the essays in the original collection discuss the ways in which causal considerations enter into the individuation of properties, and three of the added essays - 'Causal and Metaphysical Necessity', 'Realization and Mental Causation', and 'On What There Are' - deal with related themes. The neo-Lockean view of personal identity presented in 'Persons and Their Pasts' is developed with a different emphasis in the added paper 'Self and Substance'.Identity, Cause, and Mind's reappearance will be warmly welcomed by scholars and students alike. (shrink)
Absolute identity seems at first sight to be presupposed in the branch of formal logic called identity theory. Classical identity theory may be obtained by adjoining a single schema to ordinary quantification theory.
This topical new book by Zygmunt Bauman explores the notion of identity in the modern world. As we grapple with the insecurity and uncertainty of liquid modernity, Bauman argues that our socio-political, cultural, professional, religious and sexual identities are undergoing a process of continual transformation. Identities the world over have become more precarious than ever: we live in an era of constant change and disposability - whether it's last season's outfit, or car, or even partner - and our identities (...) as a result have become transient and deeply elusive. In a world of rapid global change where national borders are increasingly eroded, our identities are in a state of continuous flux. Identity - a notion that by its very nature is elusive and ambivalent - has become a key concept for understanding the changing nature of social life and personal experience in our contemporary, liquid modern age. In this brief book, Zygmunt Bauman explains compellingly why this is so. (shrink)
A theory of gender ought to be compatible with trans-inclusive definitions of gender identity terms, such as ‘woman’ and ‘man’. Appealing to this principle of trans-inclusion, Katharine Jenkins argues that we ought to endorse a dual social position and identity theory of gender. Here, I argue that Jenkins’s dual theory of gender fails to be trans-inclusive for the following reasons: it cannot generate a definition of ‘woman’ that extends to include all trans women, and it understands transgender gender (...)identity through a cisgender frame. (shrink)
Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw ends her landmark essay “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color” with a normative claim about coalitions. She suggests that we should reconceptualize identity groups as “in fact coalitions,” or at least as “potential coalitions waiting to be formed.” In this essay, I explore this largely overlooked claim by combining philosophical analysis with archival research I conducted at the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Historical Society Archive in San Francisco about (...) Somos Hermanas, the solidarity project of the Alliance Against Women’s Oppression, based in the San Francisco Women’s Building (1984–90). I extend my analysis into the present by drawing on the oral history and published works of Carmen Vázquez, a key organizer in both Somos Hermanas and the Women’s Building. I argue that conceptualizing identities as in fact coalitions—as complex, internally heterogeneous unities constituted by their internal differences and dissonances and by internal as well as external relations of power—enables us to organize effective political coalitions that cross existing identity categories and to pursue a liberatory politics of interconnection. (shrink)
Issues of identity and reduction have monopolized much of the philosopher of mind’s time over the past several decades. Interestingly, while investigations of these topics have proceeded at a steady rate, the motivations for doing so have shifted. When the early identity theorists, e.g. U. T. Place ( 1956 ), Herbert Feigl ( 1958 ), and J. J. C. Smart ( 1959 , 1961 ), fi rst gave voice to the idea that mental events might be identical to (...) brain processes, they had as their intended foil the view that minds are immaterial substances. But very few philosophers of mind today take this proposal seriously. Why, then, the continued interest in identity and reduction? Th e concern, as philosophers like Hilary Putnam and Jerry Fodor have expressed it, is that a victory for identity or reduction is a defeat for psychology. For if minds are physical, or if mental events are physical events, then psychologists might as well disassemble their laboratories, making room for the neuroscientists and molecular biologists who are in a better position to explain those phenomena once misdescribed as “psychological.” Th e worry nowadays is not that locating thought in immaterial souls will make psychology intractable, but that locating thoughts in material brains will make it otiose. (shrink)
Background: Recent literature on addiction and judgments about the characteristics of agents has focused on the implications of adopting a ‘brain disease’ versus ‘moral weakness’ model of addiction. Typically, such judgments have to do with what capacities an agent has (e.g., the ability to abstain from substance use). Much less work, however, has been conducted on the relationship between addiction and judgments about an agent’s identity, including whether or to what extent an individual is seen as the same person (...) after becoming addicted. Methods: We conducted a series of vignette-based experiments (total N = 3,620) to assess lay attitudes concerning addiction and identity persistence, systematically manipulating key characteristics of agents and their drug of addiction. Conclusions: In Study 1, we found that US participants judged an agent who became addicted to drugs as being closer to ‘a completely different person’ than ‘completely the same person’ as the agent who existed prior to the addiction. In Studies 2-6, we investigated the intuitive basis for this result, finding that lay judgments of altered identity as a consequence of drug use and addiction are driven primarily by perceived negative changes in the moral character of drug users, who are seen as having deviated from their good true selves. (shrink)
Saunders has recently claimed that “identical quantum particles” with an anti-symmetric state (fermions) are weakly discernible objects, just like irreflexively related ordinary objects in situations with perfect symmetry (Black’s spheres, for example). Weakly discernible objects have all their qualitative properties in common but nevertheless differ from each other by virtue of (a generalized version of) Leibniz’s principle, since they stand in relations an entity cannot have to itself. This notion of weak discernibility has been criticized as question begging, but we (...) defend and accept it for classical cases likes Black’s spheres. We argue, however, that the quantum mechanical case is different. Here the application of the notion of weak discernibility indeed is question begging and in conflict with standard interpretational ideas. We conclude that the introduction of the conceptual resource of weak discernibility does not change the interpretational status quo in quantum mechanics. (shrink)
This book gathers together thirteen of Peter van Inwagen's essays on metaphysics, several of which have acquired the status of modern classics in their field. They range widely across such topics as Quine's philosophy of quantification, the ontology of fiction, the part-whole relation, the theory of 'temporal parts', and human knowledge of modal truths. In addition, van Inwagen considers the question as to whether the psychological continuity theory of personal identity is compatible with materialism, and defends the thesis that (...) possible states of affairs are abstract objects, in opposition to David Lewis's 'extreme modal realism'. A specially-written introduction completes the collection, which will be an invaluable resource for anyone interested in metaphysics. (shrink)
What justifies our holding a person morally responsible for some past action? Why am I justified in having a special prudential concern for some future persons and not others? Why do many of us think that maximizing the good within a single life is perfectly acceptable, but maximizing the good across lives is wrong? In these and other normative questions, it looks like any answer we come up with will have to make an essential reference to personal identity. So, (...) for instance, it seems we are justified in holding X responsible for some past action only if X is identical to the person who performed that action. Further, it seems I am justified in my special concern for some future person only if he will be me. Finally, many of us think that while maximization within a life affects only one person, a metaphysical unity, maximization across lives affects many different, metaphysically distinct, persons, and so the latter is wrong insofar as it ignores this fundamental separateness of persons. (shrink)
Many philosophers have taken there to be an important relation between personal identity and several of our practical concerns (among them moral responsibility, compensation, and self-concern). I articulate four natural methodological assumptions made by those wanting to construct a theory of the relation between identity and practical concerns, and I point out powerful objections to each assumption, objections constituting serious methodological obstacles to the overall project. I then attempt to offer replies to each general objection in a way (...) that leaves the project intact, albeit significantly changed. Perhaps the most important change stems from the recognition that the practical concerns motivating investigation into personal identity turn out to be not univocal, as is typically thought, such that each of the different practical concerns may actually be related to personal identity in very different ways. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
Peter Geach's puzzle of intentional identity is to explain how the claim ‘Hob thinks a witch has blighted Bob's mare, and Nob wonders whether she killed Cob's sow’ is compatible with there being no such witch. I clarify the puzzle and reduce it to the familiar problem of negative existentials. That problem is a paradox of representations that seem to include denials of commitment , to carry commitment to what they deny commitment to, and to be true. The best (...) proposed solutions can be understood through this paradox; I evaluate them, and defend a new solution. (shrink)
This essay interprets Butler’s distinction between identity in the loose and popular sense and in the strict and philosophical sense. Suppose there are different standards for counting the same things. Then what are two distinct things counting strictly may be one and the same thing counting loosely. Within a given standard identity is one-one. But across standards it is many-one. An alternative interpretation using the parts-whole relation fails, because that relation should be understood as many-one identity. Another (...) alternative making identity relative to sort fails, because whole and parts can be of the same sort. (shrink)
Dispositionality and qualitativity are key notions to describe the world that we inhabit. Dispositionality is a matter of what a thing is disposed to do in certain circumstances. Qualitativity is a matter of how a thing is like. According to the Identity Theory of powers, every fundamental property is at once dispositional and qualitative, or a powerful quality. Canonically, the Identity Theory holds a contentious identity claim between a property’s dispositionality and its qualitativity. In the literature, this (...) view faces a contradiction objection that undermines its merits. We should therefore consider an alternative version that does not embrace the identity claim. My aim is to show that we can enjoy the benefits of the Identity Theory without embracing the identity between the dispositional and the qualitative. I shall argue that a distinction between two senses of dispositionality and qualitativity serves the purpose. I will then discuss three readings of the identity claim that can be formulated in light of such a distinction. I will conclude that even if the identity were to fail in any of the suggested readings, it would be possible to hold an account of fundamental powerful qualities. (shrink)
_Personal Identity and Self-Consciousness_ is about persons and personal identity. What are we? And why does personal identity matter? Brian Garrett, using jargon-free language, addresses questions in the metaphysics of personal identity, questions in value theory, and discusses questions about the first person singular. Brian Garrett makes an important contribution to the philosophy of personal identity and mind, and to epistemology.
Questions of identity such as ‘Who am I?’ are often answered by appeals to one or more affiliations with a specific nation (citizenship), culture, ethnicity, religion, etc. Taking as given the idea that identity over time—including identification and re-identification—for objects of a particular kind requires that there be criteria of identity appropriate to things of that kind, I argue that citizenship, as a ‘collectivist’ concept, does not generate such criteria for individual citizens, but that the concept person—which (...) specifies the kind of entity that I am—does generate such criteria. Confusion on this point has led some writers on citizenship to equivocate between identity for individuals and what is properly called self-determination in terms of their group affiliations and commitments. In the second part of the paper, I articulate and defend a relational view of personhood, and argue that it provides adequate grounding for morality in general, and moral education in particular. While not denying the value of civics or citizenship education, the link between morality and citizenship is derivative, at best. Finally, I examine the implications of a relational conception of personhood for the specific context of schools and classrooms, arguing that this conception is appropriately represented when the classroom functions as a community of inquiry, in which each member is encouraged to see her/himself as one among others. Drawing on the theory and practice of Philosophy for Children, I conclude with a call to reunite citizenship and moral education with their philosophical roots. (shrink)
Examples suggest that one and the same A may be different Bs, and hence that there is some sort of incompleteness in the unqualified statement that x and y are the same which needs to be eliminated by answering the question “the same what?” One way to make this more precise is by appeal to Geach's idea that identity is relative. In this paper I evaluate Geach's relative identity thesis.
In this paper I argue that Gareth Evans’ famous proof of the impossibility of de re indeterminate identity fails on a counterpart-theoretic interpretation of the determinacy operators. I attempt to motivate a counterpart-theoretic reading of the determinacy operators and then show that, understood counterpart-theoretically, Evans’ argument is straightforwardly invalid.
We examined change over time in the relationship between moral identity and presence of meaning during early adulthood. Moral identity refers to a sense of morality and moral values that are central to one’s identity. Presence of meaning refers to the belief that one’s existence has meaning, purpose, and value. Participants responded to questions on moral identity and presence of meaning in their senior year of high school and two years after. Mixed effects model analyses were (...) used to examine how moral identity and presence of meaning interacted during this two-year period. The findings demonstrated that moral identity positively predicted presence of meaning over time. (shrink)