Single Idea 17515

[catalogued under 9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / e. Individuation by kind]

Full Idea

It is unnecessary to call moths 'caterpillars' or caterpillars 'moths' to see that they can be the same individual. It may be that our sortal concepts reflect our beliefs about continuity, but our beliefs about continuity need not reflect our sortals.

Gist of Idea

Seeing caterpillar and moth as the same needs continuity, not identity of sortal concepts


M.R. Ayers (Individuals without Sortals [1974], 'Realist' vi)

Book Reference

-: 'Canadian Journal of Philosophy' [-], p.131

A Reaction

Something that metamorphosed through 15 different stages could hardly required 15 different sortals before we recognised the fact. Ayers is right.