, Volume 187, Issue 2, pp 801-812
Date: 27 Sep 2011

Many entities, no identity

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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to argue that some objections raised by Jantzen (Synthese, 2010) against the separation of the concepts of ‘counting’ and ‘identity’ are misled. We present a definition of counting in the context of quasi-set theory requiring neither the labeling nor the identity and individuality of the counted entities. We argue that, contrary to what Jantzen poses, there are no problems with the technical development of this kind of definition. As a result of being able to keep counting and identity apart for those entities, we briefly suggest that one venerable tradition concerning the nature of quantum particles may be consistently held. According to that tradition, known as the Received View on particles non-individuality, quantum particles may be seen as entities having both features: (i) identity and individuality do not apply to them, (ii) they may be gathered in collections comprising a plurality of them.