Facts of identity

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy (2022)
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Abstract

In The Philosophy of Logical Atomism Russell held the view that facts in the world are formally structured complexes, the structure of which matches the logical structure of correspondent propositions. Russell also seems to have denied that there are facts of identity and of diversity. This paper argues that Identity and Diversity can be understood as purely formal structures in Russellian facts. It considers Russell’s possible reasons for denying the existence of facts of identity and diversity and shows how problematic these reasons are. In particular, I argue that identity statements are not tautologies, and their denial does not result into a contradiction. An important consequence of this thesis is that Metaphysics and Logic are not as tied up as Russell took them to be, but nevertheless these are good news for the old formal program for Metaphysics that lies at the very heart of what he called philosophical logic.

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M. J. Garcia-Encinas
University of Granada

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