more from David Wiggins

Single Idea 16498

[catalogued under 9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 2. Defining Identity]

Full Idea

Since any definition is an identity, identity itself cannot be defined.

Gist of Idea

Identity cannot be defined, because definitions are identities


David Wiggins (Sameness and Substance [1980], 1.2 n7)

Book Reference

Wiggins,David: 'Sameness and Substance' [Blackwell 1980], p.21

A Reaction

This sounds too good to be true! I can't think of an objection, so, okay, identity cannot possibly be defined. We can give synonyms for it, I suppose. [Wrong, says Rumfitt! Definitions can also be equivalences!]

Related Idea

Idea 9585 Since every definition is an equation, one cannot define equality itself [Frege]