Is Identity Really so Fundamental?
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We critically examine the claim that identity is a fundamental concept. According to those putting forward this thesis, there are four related reasons that can be called upon to ground the fundamental character of identity: (1) identity is presupposed in every conceptual system; (2) identity is required to characterize individuality; (3) identity cannot be defined; (4) the intelligibility of quantification requires identity. We address each of these points and argue that none of them advances compelling reasons to hold that identity is fundamental; in fact, most of the tasks that seem to require identity may be performed without identity. So, in the end, identity may not be a fundamental concept after all.
KeywordsIdentity Indiscernibility Fundamentality Quantum mechanics
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