I just posted a paper defending a deflationary theory of diachronic identity.
Thanks for posting this Alex! I think that we ran out of time for talking about this issue in class. -- Ross
Alex, I'm not sure that there's no counterexample to this view. The fact is that u1 at t1 does not share all of its properties with any un at t2. So your view seems to entail that I exist momentarily. That is, if it is a necessary condition of u enduring through t1-t2 that u exists at t1 and u exists at t2, and if LL specifies a necessary condition on identity, then there is no u that endures, or, I suppose, all of the u's that endure exist "fully" at t1 and t2. But it would be odd to say at t1 that, yes, I have the property of existing fully at t2.Incidentally, didn't Brody defend this reductionist position in Identity and Essence (U Princ. Press, '80)?
I haven't read the Brody book. :-(Obviously, one needs a solution to the problem of temporary intrinsics. But I don't think my account needs that any more badly than any other account.
But I thought your account had no counterexamples? You mean your account has no more counterexamples than any other. :)
The account doesn't answer the question how it is that x can have P at t1 and have ~P at t2. But that x can have P at t1 and ~P at t2 is obvious, and it isn't the job of an account of diachronic identity to answer this "how" question.(I happen to think the answer is simply to take various properties to be relational. I know the literature has criticisms of that.)
I happen to think the answer is simply to take various properties to be relational. I know the literature has criticisms of that.It's difficult. Lewis claims (forcefully, I think) that, if anything is an intrinsic property, it is being bent. If it is a relation, it would be a pretty strange relation. A relation between a person's shape and a time?
If anything is an intrinsic property, it isn't a geometric property of an object. Geometric properties of objects depend on the geometry of space around them, and how they are embedded in that space.
The paper has just been accepted by the Australasian Journal of Philosophy. I updated the link with the latest version.
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