Continuants: Their Activity, Their Being, and Their Identity: Introduction
Wiggins (David)
Source: Wiggins (David) - Continuants: Their Activity, Their Being, and Their Identity
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Section 1 (Full text)

  1. Forty-four years ago I published a short monograph called "Wiggins (David) - Identity & Spatio-temporal Continuity", henceforth ISTC, in which I contended that the identity between x and y — or the persistence of x in the shape of y — cannot in general be determined without reference to what x is and what y is, the fundamental thing-kind of each. I recently discovered that, in placing such emphasis on the question x and y are the same what?, I was repeating something I had said in an entry for Analysis Problem number 11 (1957). I did not win the competition, but it was a consolation (I now recall) that, in his report, Arthur Prior who was the judge made honourable mention of my deployment of that question.
  2. In ISTC I contended also that a proper concern with that same question, so soon as it was married with a concern for the indiscernibility of identicals1, logically excluded the very idea, which was championed at that time by Peter Geach, of relative identity2. The point of the same what question was not to make room for relative identity3 but to focus attention upon the question what thing or things – and what sort of things – were being inquired about.
  3. Once ISTC was in print, I started putting one or two things right. From this process, once it was begun, arose "Wiggins (David) - Sameness and Substance", henceforth S&S, and later "Wiggins (David) - Sameness and Substance Renewed", henceforth S&SR.
  4. In the present collection the first essay summarizes, clarifies or extends S&SR.
    • A summary of this paper4 is given at Section 2 which ensues here.
    • Section 3 describes the contents of Chapters 2 to 12.
    • Sections 4 and 5 give explanations which are perfectly essential to the understanding of all the essays in this book.
    • Sections 6 to 8 treat less immediate matters which arise from recent controversy.

Notes on Sections 2 – 8
  1. Section 2 – as noted above – purports to be a summary of Chapter 2 ("Wiggins (David) - Identity, Individuation, and Substance"), but I found it incomprehensible without reading that chapter. Anything I can make of it appears against that Chapter itself.
  2. Similarly, the comments in Section 3 are used for the introductions to Chapters 2 – 12.
  3. Section 4:
  4. Section 5:
  5. Section 6:
  6. Section 7:
  7. Section 8:

In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 4:

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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