Download Being qua being: a theory of identity, existence, and by Panayot Butchvarov PDF

By Panayot Butchvarov

Are there nonexistent issues? what's the nature of informative id statements? Are the notions of crucial estate and of essence intelligible, and, if that is so, how are they to be understood? Are person issues fabric components or clusters of characteristics? Can the account of the team spirit of a posh entity stay away from vicious limitless regresses? those questions have attracted common awareness between philosophers lately, as evidenced by means of a proliferation of articles within the best philosophical journals. In Being Qua Being they obtain systematic, unified remedy, grounded in an account of the character of the applying to the area of our conceptual equipment. A imperative thesis of the ebook is that the subject of id is fundamental, and that lifestyles and predication, either crucial and unintended, are to be understood when it comes to identification.

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This is particularly clear with respect to claims that some material identity statements really assert that certain time-stages belong to the same spatiotemporal continuant or that certain sense-data belong to the same family of sense-data. " (Montgomery Furth, in his introduction to The Basic Laws of Arithmetic, pp. ) Page 26 understanding of material identity, since these latter statements are themselves material identity statements. V According to Russell, (1) statements in which the identity sign is flanked by logically proper names are really formal identity statements; (2) statements in which it is flanked by ordinary proper names are statements in which it is flanked by disguised definite descriptions; and (3) statements in which it is flanked by definite descriptions are themselves disguised general particular ("existential") statements, and not identity statements at all.

For example, that the apparent distinctness of the color of this page and the color of the next page, both of which let us suppose are the same shade of white, is due to the real distinctness of the two pages? Or that the apparent distinctness of the Morning Star and the Evening Star is due to the real distinctness, say, of morning and evening? But if I know that John both owns the house at the corner and is married to Jane, the real distinctness of the two states of affairs need not have the slightest tendency to produce an appearance, whether in thought or in perception, of their being two persons, one who is the owner of the house at the corner and the other the husband of Jane.

If not so understood, then it is not really the statement that those who claim it is contingent have taken it to be. For a statement cannot be divorced from the way in which it is understood and thus from the situation in which it would ordinarily be made. " I shall return to this topic. * And, it has been claimed that material identity statements do not legitimize unrestricted substitutivity of their terms in modal and intentional contexts. Even if a is the same as b, there are *This fact should also discourage frothier suggestions such as that what "a is b" is about appears to be distinct things just in case "a" and "b" designate different things in some "possible world," even though the same thing in the actual world; or just in case a and b are only partially coincident ''transworld heir lines" of "manifestations" or "embodiments" of individuals in various possible worlds; or just in case a and b have different "counterparts" in some possible world.

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