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Global Supervenience and Identity across Times and Worlds

Theodore Sider
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research
Vol. 59, No. 4 (Dec., 1999), pp. 913-937
DOI: 10.2307/2653562
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2653562
Page Count: 25
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Global Supervenience and Identity across Times and Worlds
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Abstract

The existence and importance of supervenience principles for identity across times and worlds have been noted, but insufficient attention has been paid to their precise nature. Such attention is repaid with philosophical dividends. The issues in the formulation of the supervenience principles are two. The first involves the relevant variety of supervenience: that variety is global, but there are in fact two versions of global supervenience that must be distinguished. The second involves the subject matter: the names "identity over time" and "identity across worlds" are misnomers, for in neither case is identity at issue. The philosophical dividends then follow. Nathan Salmon's argument that identity over time needs no "grounds" in matters of qualitative fact can be answered, as can an argument offered by many, that coincident objects (such as statues and lumps of clay) would require objectionably ungrounded differences in identities across times and worlds.

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