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Jonathan Worrel Professor Rolf Johansson PHIL 101 Metaphysics May 6, 2012 Metaphysics (PHIL 101) Final On Particulars

rs 1) Summarize the principle of the identity of indiscernibles and explain how Max Blacks two sphere universe may count as a counterexample to the principle. The principle of the identity of indiscernibles, often in association with Leibnizs law, advocates that if two things, X and Y, agree in all their properties, then X is numerically identical to Y. In other words, it is a basic ontological principle that states there cannot be separate objects or entities that have all their properties in common. The question many philosophers have asked, however, is whether objects are constituted only as the sum of their properties and not as anything more. As a counterexample to the principle, analytic philosopher Max Black proposed a thought experiment in which there are two distinctly identical spheres of the exact same shape, size, color, temperature and material, and both have exactly the same relational properties to any other object. Nevertheless, Black assumes that their relational properties are identical simply because they are the only two objects in the universe of the thought experiment, and are therefore relational to each other. In conclusion, he asserts that there are clearly two distinctly identical objects, but neither one has any property or relation that the other doesnt have. Therefore, the thought experiment suggests a possibility that the identity of indiscernibles is false.

2) Explain how Allaires concept of bare particulars simultaneously accounts for i) How we can discriminate Max Blacks spheres (or Allaires red discs), ii) How distinct objects can share the same universal, and iii) Persistence of an object through time. i) In Edwin Allaires metaphysical theory of bare particulars, commonly referenced as an ontological substance attribute theory of objecthood, he gives an example of two distinctly identical red colored discs similar to those in Max Blacks thought experiment in which one is analyzed by the statement this is red and the other analyzed by that is red. From these statements, he claims that the terms this and that refer to individuals (bare particulars), the term red refers to a character (universal) of both and the term is instantiates this property in both. In total, the discs [are] a collection of what has sometimes been called perfect particulars of the same shade and cannot be told apart. (Allaire, p114 - 116) Nevertheless, this indistinguishable characteristic gives rise to a need for observing the Principle of Acquaintance (PA), which states that terms must refer to entities with which we can be acquainted (as a foundational principle of empirical philosophy). ii) One way to account for discrimination is by accepting Aristotelian realism, which posits that every red thing instantiates one Platonic property of redness. In other words, the bare particular plus universal analysis is correct and valid with Aristotelian realism. Not only does the theory allow different particulars to contain numerically identical universals, it also solves the problem of accounting for numerically distinct bare particulars, and hence remains loyal to observing the Principle of Acquaintance.

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iii) Persistence of an object through time is another metaphysical issue entirely, setting aside any justifications for bare particulars and their acquaintances with observers. According to Roderick Chisholms account of identity through time, there are two senses of sameness and identity. The first is a loose sense more associated with the terms sameness and thinghood, where an [object] X at time t1 is the same F as [object] Y at time t2. The second is a strict sense more associated with the terms identity and personhood, where a [person] X at time t1 is the same F as person Y at time t2. In his paper, Chisholm gives the example of a simple ship named the U.S.S. South Dakota coming into being on a Monday, composed of two principle parts A and B. On Tuesday, part A is replaced by a new part C. On Wednesday, part B is annexed with a new part F and part C is annexed with a new part J. Finally, on Thursday, part B is completely replaced by a new part L and part C is completely replaced by a new part H. (Identity Through Time, p26) Overall, Chisholm shows that his example gives rise to the need for a clarification between what he calls an intactly persisting object and a nonintactly persisting object. He defines an intactly persisting object as one that at any moment [tlater] has the same parts it had at any other moment [tearlier] of its existence. In contrast, he defines a nonintactly persisting object as one that is composed of one set of parts at one time [tearlier] and of another set of parts at another time [tlater]. Ultimately, Chisholm claims that the solution to identifying the persistence of objects through time is by [clearly] distinguishing these various objects and making sure you know which ones you are talking about. (Identity Through Time, p27)

4) Explain Van Cleves objection that the bundle theory entails that all properties of a thing would be essential to it, and ii) Discuss problems with the solution of splitting the bundle into a core of essential properties and a periphery of accidental properties. In his quest to reconcile any surface issues proceeding from the bundle theory of metaphysical particulars, James Van Cleve posits in a fourth objection (out of six) that changing any one property of an object would be changing the entire definition of the object. (Three Versions of the Bundle Theory, p122) In other words, If objects were merely sets of properties, things would be incapable of change. For a thing could change its properties only if the set identical with it could change its members, but that is impossible; no set can change its members. (p122) Van Cleve also suggests that if a metaphysician were to introduce co-instantiation of properties as a contingent relation among them, the first three objections could be avoided nearly entirely. (p123) However, this new view of contingency relations still faces a Leibnizian objection in which every individual has just the properties it does, necessarily. (p124) Nevertheless, he claims that a more promising way to avoid this objection would be to divide each complete bundle of mutually co-instantiated properties into two sub-bundles, with an inner core and an outer fringe, (p125) and then to identify individuals with cores rather than with complete bundles. Consequently, it then becomes possible to identify an individuals essential properties as those belonging to its core, and its accidental properties as those belonging to its fringe. In formal logic, this would be given as: An individual X has a property F if and only if there is a complete bundle of mutually

Worrel 3 co-instantiated properties Y such that i) X is a sub-bundle within Y and either iia) F is an element of X or iib) F is not an element of X, but is an element of Y. (p125) Unfortunately, even this well-prepared formal statement suffers its own difficulties. Van Cleve admits to the conviction that the vast majority of a things properties are accidental to it, therefore a very small sub-bundle would need to be chosen as the core perhaps even a sub-sub bundle or an atomically minimal bundle. Even then, however, nothing is to prevent the same cores occurring within several complete bundles whose accidental fringes contain mutually incompatible elements.

Works Cited: Chisholm, Roderick M. "Identity Through Time." Person and Object: A Metaphysical Study. London: G. Allen & Unwin, 1976. 25-41. Print. Loux, Michael J. Metaphysics: Contemporary Readings. 2nd ed. New York and London: Routledge Contemporary Readings in Philosophy, 2008. Print.