|To:||"[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, doug@xxxxxxxxxx|
|Date:||Sat, 18 May 2013 17:53:18 +0900|
Comments inline after RR:
On Sat, May 18, 2013 at 1:28 AM, doug foxvog <doug@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
RR: Doug, fellow Terp here. Ireland and photography are two of my favorites as well.
RR: To the extent that "identity" has to do with *distinguishing*, then yes there is a certain degree of fiat involved. And to the extent that it is confined to (or formulated into) some logical or mathematical formalism the same holds. But to the extent that identity involves that which makes some putative unity or whole separate/distinct (in a mind-external sense) from another, it's not human defined and created. Reality affords minds to distinguish, and so some reality outside of minds grounds these unities.
What is out "there" are a bunch of quarks, leptons, and photons that
RR: This reflects one reductive view of the world. Whether it's true is another question. What's important is that "interesting" does not mean "arbitrary", but whether (some of) the "interesting" properties/patterns mark the so-called natural kinds, lead to formulations and discoveries of general scientific principles, and ideally result in some practical and beneficial use or manipulation of what's being studied.
The meaning of "identity" seems clear. As one Supreme Court justice said
RR: The quote makes a good point. These are general and basic notions that resist precise description so well. It's no surprise since they are so general and perhaps in the background of our psyche.
Perhaps two different senses of 'identity' are being used, here? One about describing what the justice was trying to identify, the other about individuating (particles). Generally speaking, when including social matters, like this and a child-to-adult, things become much more complicated and, perhaps less likely to have a mind-independent answer (assuming you're trying to find one rather than simply prescribe). For the social-related or social-type of identity questions it might be best to appeal to normative considerations: is it *good* to define identity in this way, what good will it do?
Unless one can define "identity" in a reasonable way, one can't
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