Self‐Differing, Aspects, and Leibniz's Law

Noûs 52:900-920 (2018)
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I argue that an individual has aspects numerically identical with it and each other that nonetheless qualitatively differ from it and each other. This discernibility of identicals does not violate Leibniz's Law, however, which concerns only individuals and is silent about their aspects. They are not in its domain of quantification. To argue that there are aspects I will appeal to the internal conflicts of conscious beings. I do not mean to imply that aspects are confined to such cases, but the best way to start is to recognize them experientially. We can feel the conflicts within ourselves. In doing so we can feel some of our aspects. I will try to enhance our understanding of the concept of aspect by listing and formalizing some principles for its use. After that I will argue that all sorts of individual things have aspects, not just people who are conflicted.

Author's Profile

Donald L. M. Baxter
University of Connecticut


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