Saturday, August 14, 2010

Haecceities, strong essentiality of origins and science

  1. (Premise) If essentiality of origins doesn't hold, then every particle has a haecceity.
  2. (Premise) A haecceity of x is an intrinsic property of x.
  3. (Premise) A haecceity of x isn't a physical property of x or a function of any physical properties of x.
  4. (Premise) There is a particle each of whose intrinsic properties is a physical property or a function of physical properties.
  5. Therefore, there is a particle that lacks a haecceity. (2-4)
  6. Therefore, essentiality of origins holds. (1, 5)
Why believe (1)? Because if there are no haecceities then the only plausible account of transworld identity is that x in w1 is identical with y in w2 if and only if x and y have the same origins. And this forces essentiality of origins.
I think the problematic premise is (4). But it is still somewhat plausible.


Andrew said...

I agree that 4 is the problem, but I can't see why it is somewhat plausible.

David said...

Suppose every particle except one had a haecceity. One could then have an account of the identity of that particle without appealing to essentiality of origins, i.e., the particle is the one that lacks a haecceity. This weakens the considerations given in support of (1).