The Necessity of Identity


The aim of this chapter is to explore to some extent the relationship between identity and necessity in logic and metaphysics. First, I provide a historically-based summary of proofs of the necessity of identity, highlighting the importance of the role that self-identity plays. Second, I introduce two examples of metaphysical topics where the necessity of identity has played a pivotal role: the necessary a posteriori, and the coincidence of material objects. I argue that important aspects of these debates rest on how we represent identity. Third, I consider some recent work on generalized identity. This opens up new prospects for explaining why identity is necessary.

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Jessica Leech
King's College London


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