Miles Sabin msabin at
Tue Jun 22 12:00:59 BST 1999

David Brownell wrote,
> John Cowan wrote:
> > What's hard is *determining* identity.
> Which I see as part of what "identity" is ...

If that's how you want to use the word 'identity', fine: 
but it's not the way a lot of people use it. John's 
using the term in a way which is *completely* 
independent of anyones ability to establish whether or 
not two descriptive expressions pick out one and the 
same thing. That's quite a popular conception of 
identity with philosophers (the sensible ones, not the 
Foucaults and Derridas).

The trouble with an idea of identity that ties it up
with being able to tell whether two descriptions pick 
out the same or different things is that it has the
unfortunate effect of relativising the idea to differing 
abilities to pick out differences. Lois Lane belives 
that Superman isn't the same person as Clark Kent. Clark 
Kent presumably believes otherwise. Which one of those
two beliefs is true? On Johns view of identity we know 
that there's an answer to this question (even if we 
don't know what it is). What could we say on yours?



Miles Sabin                          Cromwell Media
Internet Systems Architect           5/6 Glenthorne Mews
+44 (0)181 410 2230                  London, W6 0LJ
msabin at           England

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