Cross‐World Identity

Benson Mates

in The Philosophy of Leibniz

Published in print June 1989 | ISBN: 9780195059465
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833429 | DOI:
Cross‐World Identity

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This chapter takes up the question of what it can mean, for Leibniz, to say that an element of one possible world is identical with an element of another. It turns out that for him, such an identity is impossible. Thus, e.g., Adam would not have been the same person if Eve had not existed, i.e., he would have lacked the attribute “coexistent with Eve”; in other words, the very concept of Adam includes the attribute, “coexistent with Eve”; in still other words, nobody who was not coexistent with Eve could even possibly be Adam. In general, possible worlds are completely disjoint.

Keywords: Adam; counterfactual conditional; counterfactuals; creation; cross‐world identity; essentialism; God; identity; Leibniz; possible world; superessentialism

Chapter.  8218 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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