Loose identity and becoming something else

Noûs 35 (4):592–601 (2001)
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Armstrong has loose identity be an equivalence relation, yet in cases of something becoming something else, loose identity is not transitive. My alternate account has an attribution of loose identity be really two: a true attribution of an underlying relation (perhaps not transitive) and a false attribution--a Humean feigning-of strict identity. The feigning may become less appropriate as the underlying relation grows more distant. What makes it appropriate initially is that the underlying relation supports a predictable change in some collective. The importance of the predictably changing collective is signaled by regarding it as a single thing.

Author's Profile

Donald L. M. Baxter
University of Connecticut


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