Single Idea 12443

[catalogued under 10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 3. Transworld Objects / a. Transworld identity]

Full Idea

Is the concept of identity simply inapplicable to unactualized possibles? But what sense can be found in talking of entities which cannot meaningfully be said to be identical with themselve and distinct from one another.

Gist of Idea

Can an unactualized possible have self-identity, and be distinct from other possibles?


Willard Quine (On What There Is [1948], p.4)

Book Reference

Quine,Willard: 'From a Logical Point of View' [Harper and Row 1963], p.4

A Reaction

Can he seriously mean that we are not allowed to talk about possible objects? If I design a house, it is presumably identical to the house I am designing, and distinct from houses I'm not designing.