Chapter

Counterparts and Identity (1987)

Robert C. Stalnaker

in Ways a World Might Be

Published in print August 2003 | ISBN: 9780199251483
Published online April 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602320 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199251487.003.0007
 Counterparts and Identity (1987)

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This paper explores a different version of the counterpart theory - that the actualist can coherently combine a belief in primitive thisness and genuine identity across possible worlds with a version of counterpart theory that permits one to make sense of contingent identity and distinctness, i.e., if the claims that one thing might have been two, and that distinct things might have been identical. The theses called haecceitism is analysed, and it is argued that this doctrine can be reconciled with a version of counterpart theory, and with the coherence of contingent identity. The impact of this account of counterparts and identity on the abstract semantics of quatified modal logic is considered.

Keywords: counterpart theory; identity; haecceitism; modal logic; actualism

Chapter.  11481 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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