more from Ryan Wasserman

Single Idea 16074

[catalogued under 9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 3. Relative Identity]

Full Idea

If the relative identity theorist denies transitivity (to deal with the Ship of Theseus, for example), this would make us suspect that relativised identity relations are not identity relations, since transitivity seems central to identity.


Transitivity: a=b, b=c, so a=c

Gist of Idea

Relative identity may reject transitivity, but that suggests that it isn't about 'identity'


Ryan Wasserman (Material Constitution [2009], 6)

Book Reference

'Stanford Online Encyclopaedia of Philosophy', ed/tr. Stanford University [], p.17

A Reaction

The problem here, I think, focuses on the meaning of the word 'same'. One change of plank leaves you with the same ship, but that is not transitive. If 'identical' is too pure to give the meaning of 'the same' it's not much use in discussing the world.