By Andrew Brennan
Addressing many subject matters in epistemology and metaphysics, this treatise units out a brand new conception of the solidarity of gadgets, and discusses own id, the metaphysics of attainable worlds, the continuity in house time, and the character of philosophical theorizing.
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Additional info for Conditions of Identity: A Study in Identity and Survival
But any such admission seems to threaten the simple view that the notion of a continuous path through space and time is intuitively clear and mathematically definable. As if this were not a big enough problem, our attachment to continuity is liable to be threatened by a further one. We could take a stab at it by asking: what is it we are judging continuity of? Here I am, looking at a tree. And over there is the tree. It doesn't move, so it shows more than moderate continuity from moment to moment.
For those who take identity as being primitive, there is no more to be said about the unity of particular things except that they are unitary. The semantics of identity statements will, for them, be the natural focus of study in this area. Metaphysical Problems 41 in space and time. We will return to the issue of primitiveness at the end of the chapter, so let me concentrate just now on the 'elucidation' in terms of continuity. One point that Wiggins makes clear is that any notion of continuity or gappiness we use must be appropriate to the kinds of object we are studying.
The important lesson we should learn at this stage is that cases of unity may be envisaged where a single object can be supposed to have gaps in its spatio-temporal history. But then such objects would not be things that trace a continuous path in space-time. So what, then, is a continuous path through space and time? This question is rather harder to answer than we might at first have thought. For we seem to have, on the one hand, a clear notion of what such continuity is; but when we consider even mathematically naive formulations of the notion, we run into severe difficulties.