Being Qua Being: A Theory of Identity, Existence, and by Panayot Butchvarov

By Panayot Butchvarov

Are there nonexistent issues? what's the nature of informative id statements? Are the notions of crucial estate and of essence intelligible, and, if this is the case, how are they to be understood? Are person issues fabric components or clusters of characteristics? Can the account of the solidarity of a fancy entity stay away from vicious limitless regresses?

These questions have attracted common consciousness between philosophers lately, as evidenced by way of a proliferation of articles within the top philosophical journals. In Being Qua Being they obtain systematic, unified therapy, grounded in an account of the character of the applying to the area of our conceptual equipment. A imperative thesis of the publication is that the subject of id is fundamental, and that life and predication, either crucial and unintended, are to be understood when it comes to identity.

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Translations from the Philosophical Writings of Gottlob Frege [Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1970], p. " P. T. Geach, Reference and Generality (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1968), p. XI. Page 12 swayed by facile answers or preconceived notions. And our first task must be to identify as generally as possible, yet with reasonable clarity and especially in fresh, philosophically neutral terms, the feature of material identity statements that demands philosophical account. Frege held that although, if true, such a statement may only be about one thing, that thing may be given to us in many ways, it may be presented to us in many modes, and the subject terms of the statement express two such different ways of being given or modes of presentation, even though they refer to only one thing.

And even though an entire chapter is devoted to it, the foundation of almost all the views I shall defend, namely, the distinction between objects and entities, cannot be fully understood in abstraction from its applications to the topics discussed in the later chapters. On the other hand, these discussions might appear sketchy, perhaps even high-handed, unless regarded as intended to derive whatever substance they possess mainly from that distinction. Page 9 Chapter One The Apparent Distinctness of Identicals I I shall begin with several historical references in order to bare some of the roots of what will follow.

Even if the statement "a is the same as b" is true, we might have said, a and b are distinguishable, and this fact is the mark of a material identity statement. But then we should have sacrificed logical coherence for superficial elegance. For we must not allow that material identicals are distinguishable either in the sense that they are nonidentical or in the sense that though identical they violate the principle of the indiscernibility of identicals. And what else could we mean, at this point in our inquiry, by their distinguishability?

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