more from David Wiggins

Single Idea 11852

[catalogued under 9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / e. Vague objects]

Full Idea

The Pope's crown is made of crowns. There is no definite answer, when the Pope is wearing his crown, to the question 'how many crowns does he have on his head?'

Gist of Idea

Is the Pope's crown one crown, if it is made of many crowns?


David Wiggins (Sameness and Substance Renewed [2001], 2.7)

Book Reference

Wiggins,David: 'Sameness and Substance Renewed' [CUP 2001], p.75

A Reaction

A very nice example, in which the identity of the item seems clear enough, until you try to apply a sortal to it. I can't get excited about it, though, because calling it one 'crown' creates uncertainty, but calling it the 'Pope's crown' doesn't.