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Multiple actualities and ontically vague identity

Williams, J.R.G. (2008) Multiple actualities and ontically vague identity. Philosophical Quarterly, 58 (230). pp. 134-154. ISSN 1467-9213

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Gareth Evans's argument against ontically vague identity has been picked over on many occasions. But extant proposals for blocking the argument do not meet well-motivated general constraints on a successful solution. Moreover, the pivotal position that defending ontically vague identity occupies vis a vis ontic vagueness more generally has not yet been fully appreciated. This paper advocates a way of resisting the Evans argument meeting all the mentioned constraints: if we can find referential indeterminacy in virtue of ontic vagueness, we can get out of the Evans argument while still preserving genuinely ontically vague identity. To show how this approach can vindicate particular cases of ontically vague identity, I develop a framework for describing ontic vagueness in general in terms of multiple actualities. The effect, overall, is to provide a principled and attractive approach to ontically vague identity that is immune from Evansian worries.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2007 the author. 12 month post publication embargo imposed by Blackwell publishing.
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts (Leeds) > School of Humanities (Leeds) > School of Philosophy (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts (Leeds) > School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science (Leeds) > School of Philosophy (Leeds)
Depositing User: Leeds Philosophy Department
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2007 12:29
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 17:04
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9213.2007.538.x
Status: Published
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1111/j.1467-9213.2007.538.x
Related URLs:
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3326

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