Identity through Time and the Discernibility of Identicals

Analysis 49 (3):125 - 131 (1989)
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Ordinary usage gives a way to think of identity through time: the Pittsburgh of 1946 was the same city as the Pittsburgh of today is--namely Pittsburgh. Problem: The Pittsburgh of 1946 does not exist; Pittsburgh still does. How can they have been identical? I reject the temporal parts view on which they were not but we may speak as though they were. Rather I argue that claiming their identity is not contradictory. I interpret ‘the Pittsburgh of 1946’ as ‘Pittsburgh as it was in 1946’ and suggest that the apparent contradiction results from an ambiguity in the scope of ‘as’.

Author's Profile

Donald L. M. Baxter
University of Connecticut


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