, Volume 74, Issue 3, pp 351-362
Date: 11 Nov 2010

Vague Objects Without Ontically Indeterminate Identity

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Abstract

The supporter of vague objects has been long challenged by the following ‘Argument from Identity’: 1) if there are vague objects, then there is ontically indeterminate identity; 2) there is no ontically indeterminate identity; therefore, 3) there are no vague objects. Some supporters of vague objects have argued that 1) is false. Noonan (Analysis 68: 174–176, 2008) grants that 1) does not hold in general, but claims that ontically indeterminate identity is indeed implied by the assumption that there are vague objects of a certain special kind (i.e. vague objects*). One can therefore formulate a ‘New Argument from Identity’: 1′) if there are vague objects*, then there is ontically indeterminate identity; 2) there is no ontically indeterminate identity; therefore, 3′) there are no vague objects*. Noonan’s strategy is to argue that premiss 1′) is inescapable, and, as a consequence, that Evans’s alleged defence of 2) is a real challenge for any supporter of vague objects. I object that a supporter of vague objects who grants the validity of Evans’s argument allegedly in favour of 2) should reject premiss 1′). The threat of the New Argument from Identity is thus avoided.