Existence and Many-One Identity

Philosophical Quarterly 63 (250):313-329 (2013)
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C endorses the doctrine of Composition as Identity, which holds that a composite object is identical to its many parts, and entails that one object can be identical to several others. In this dialogue, N argues that many‐one identity, and thus composition as identity, is conceptually confused. In particular, N claims it violates two conceptual truths: that existence facts fix identity facts, and that identity is no addition to being. In response to pressure from C, N considers several candidate interpretations of the first slogan. Each interpretation imagines God issuing a divine existential decree that counts as ‘fixing the existence facts’, and then considers what questions about identity are left open by it. N eventually hits on an appealing interpretation of the slogan that C can neither undermine nor accommodate, and uses it to interpret the second slogan as well
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