The Journal of Value Inquiry

, Volume 48, Issue 3, pp 335–347 | Cite as

2014 Rockefeller Prize Winner: Sameness in Being Is Sameness in Species: Or: Was an Aristotelian Philosophy of Identity Ever Credible?

  • Greg A. DamicoEmail author

The sun is in fact the same thing as the brightest object in the sky, but it would seem that the sun and the brightest object might have been different. Socrates may now be the same thing as the seated thing (because Socrates is now seated), but it would seem that Socrates and the seated thing will later be different (once Socrates rises). Now Aristotle’s usual way of describing such situations is to say that such pairs of entities are accidentally the same or accidentally one,1 the idea being that the sun and the brightest object2 just happen to be the same thing, by a kind of cosmic accident. Now Aristotle often observes the multivocity of terms, and sameness (or, I suppose, ‘sameness’ or ‘ταὐτóν’) is no exception: Things are said to be the same in many ways;3thus accidental sameness is only one of several senses of sameness. What I shall argue in this paper is that Aristotle’s description of accidental sameness is incompatible with what he says elsewhere about other sorts of...


Bright Object Modern Sense Problematic Claim Definitional Account Sophistical Refutation 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bellevue CollegeBellevueUSA

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