Counterpart Theory and the Puzzles of Transworld Identity

Penelope Mackie

in How Things Might Have Been

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780199272204
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191604034 | DOI:
 Counterpart Theory and the Puzzles of Transworld Identity

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This chapter considers the proposal that counterpart theory should be adopted as a solution to the problems about identity across possible worlds discussed in the previous chapters: a solution that requires neither bare identities, extrinsically determined identities, nor non-trivial individual essences. It concludes that unless one is already committed to counterpart theory on other grounds (such as the adoption of David Lewis’s version of realism about possible worlds), one has insufficient reason to prefer a counterpart-theoretic solution to a ‘bare identities’ solution to the problems.

Keywords: bare identities; counterpart theory; haecceitistic difference; identity; Lewis; possible world

Chapter.  5851 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Metaphysics

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