Belief and Practice

Trenton Merricks

in Objects and Persons

Published in print May 2001 | ISBN: 9780199245369
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598036 | DOI:
 Belief and Practice

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Argues that—because eliminativism is true—folk beliefs about statues and chairs are indeed false. But I make the case that, insofar as practical matters and justification are concerned, such beliefs are ‘nearly as good as true.’ And I argue that whether a claim of (e.g.) statue identity over time is ‘nearly as good as true’ can be, to some extent, a matter of convention. But, I argue, nothing similar can be said about claims of personal identity over time. Thus, my ontology yields a principled defence of the intuitively plausible claim that personal identity over time can never be a matter of convention, whereas the ‘identity of artifacts’ can be.

Keywords: artifact; convention; eliminativism; folk theory; identity; ontology; personal identity

Chapter.  9945 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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