Quine on identity

Jean -Yves Béziau


In a first section, we discuss Quine’s claim according to which identity is a logical notion. We point out that Quine mixes up various types of identities: trivial (or diagonal) identity, Leibniz identity, etc.; and this leads him to commit several mistakes. In a second section, we review Quine’s criticisms to various philosophers (Wittgenstein, Whitehead, Leibniz, etc.), who according to him made confusion between names and objects in defining identity. We show that in fact only Korzybski can be accused of such confusion. In a third section, we analyze the relation between identity and entity. We notice that for Quine a river is the result of the identification of river stages, but that he admits it as an entity by opposition to squareness, which according to him is a result of an identification process of higher abstraction.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5007/%25x

Copyright (c)


Principia: an internationnal journal of epistemology
Published by NEL - Epistemology and Logic Research Group
Federal University of Santa Catarina - UFSC
Center of Philosophy and Human Sciences – CFH
Campus Reitor João David Ferreira Lima
Florianópolis, Santa Catarina - Brazil
CEP: 88040-900

 ISSN: 1414-4217
EISSN: 1808-171

e-mail: principia@contato.ufsc.br