Instantiation as Partial Identity: Replies to Critics

Axiomathes 23 (2):291-299 (2013)
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One of the advantages of my account in the essay “Instantiation as Partial Identity” was capturing the contingency of instantiation—something David Armstrong gave up in his experiment with a similar view. What made the contingency possible for me was my own non-standard account of identity, complete with the apparatus of counts and aspects. The need remains to lift some obscurity from the account in order to display its virtues to greater advantage. To that end, I propose to respond to those who have grappled with it in print. There are various criticisms by commentators: that it is rendered absurd by the transitivity of identity, that it makes instantiation necessary instead of contingent, that it is unclear what counts are, that aspects are simply tropes, that my view does not capture multiple location, that I make an unclear reference to a theory of composition as identity, that the account suffers from problems with polyadicity, and that it is not a realist account of universals after all. I give responses to these objections

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Donald L. M. Baxter
University of Connecticut


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