, Volume 140, Issue 2, pp 149-159
Date: 14 Jul 2007

Reducing reductionism: on a putative proof for Extreme Haecceitism

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Abstract

Nathan Salmon, in his paper Trans-World Identification and Stipulation (1996) purports to give a proof for the claim that facts concerning trans-world identity cannot be conceptually reduced to general facts. He calls this claim ‘Extreme Haecceitism.’ I argue that his proof is fallacious. However, I also contend that the analysis and ultimate rejection of his proof clarifies the fundamental issues that are at stake in the debate between the reductionist and haecceitist solutions to the problem of trans-world identity. These issues hinge on the ability of modal logic and possible worlds semantics to draw a hard and fast distinction between the logic and the metaphysics of modal logic. I shall claim that the considerations in this paper call into question the viability of such a distinction.