more from William Lycan

Single Idea 5494

[catalogued under 9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 6. Identity between Objects]

Full Idea

There is such a thing as synthetic and a posteriori identity that is nonetheless genuine identity, as in lightning being electrical discharge, and the Morning Star being Venus.


'synthetic a posteriori' means it is about the world, and is discovered

Gist of Idea

'Lightning is electric discharge' and 'Phosphorus is Venus' are synthetic a posteriori identities


William Lycan (Introduction - Ontology [1999], p.5)

Book Reference

'Mind and Cognition (2nd Edn)', ed/tr. Lycan,William [Blackwell 1999], p.5

A Reaction

It is important to note that although these identities are synthetic a posteriori, that doesn't make them contingent. The early identity theorists like Smart seemed to think that it did. Kripke must be right that they are necessary identities.