Non-Conditional Disputations

Terence Parsons

in Indeterminate Identity

Published in print September 2000 | ISBN: 9780198250449
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191681301 | DOI:
Non-Conditional Disputations

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This chapter discusses a number of attempts to prove that there can be no such thing as indeterminate identity. The arguments discussed here are limited to ones that do not turn on the logic or semantics of conditionals. Various objections to indeterminate identity are not conclusive. Quine's doctrine ‘No entity without identity’ rules out only entities for which identity does not make sense. Even if bivalence is maintained within each science, identity puzzles may still arise where sciences overlap. Salmon's argument based on ordered pairs is either a version of Evans's argument or a challenge to indeterminate set. Sometimes puzzles arise from reading sentences non-literally. A sentence may be read supervaluationally or super-resolutionally. The discussion also reviews Williamson's refutation of non-bivalence, Cook's building, and Noonan's argument against an example of indeterminate identity.

Keywords: Quine; indeterminate identity; bivalence; Salmon's argument; ordered pairs; supervaluations; Williamson; Cook's building; super-resolutions

Chapter.  11689 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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