Single Idea 14751

[catalogued under 9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / b. Cat and its tail]

Full Idea

Burke argues that Tib (the whole cat apart from its tail) goes out of existence when the tail is lost. His essentialist principle is that if something is ever of a particular sort (such as 'cat') then it is always of that sort. Tib is not initially a cat.

Gist of Idea

Tib goes out of existence when the tail is lost, because Tib was never the 'cat'


report of Michael Burke (Dion and Theon: an essentialist solution [1994]) by Theodore Sider - Four Dimensionalism 5.4

Book Reference

Sider,Theodore: 'Four Dimensionalism' [OUP 2003], p.162

A Reaction

This I take to be a souped up version of Wiggins, and I just don't buy that identity conditions are decided by sortals, when it seems obvious that sortals are parasitic on identities.