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Ideas of David Wiggins, by Text

[British, b.1933, Professor at London University.]

1971 Identity and Spatio-Temporal Continuity
p.75 p.63 'Ultimate sortals' cannot explain ontological categories
1980 Sameness and Substance
Pre 1 p.1 Individuation needs accounts of identity, of change, and of singling out
Pre 1 p.2 Individuation can only be understood by the relation between things and thinkers
Pre 2 p.4 We want to explain sameness as coincidence of substance, not as anything qualitative
Pre 2 p.5 The only singling out is singling out 'as' something
Pre 2 p.6 Singling out extends back and forward in time
1.1 p.18 Maybe the concept needed under which things coincide must also yield a principle of counting
1.2 p.21 Leibniz's Law (not transitivity, symmetry, reflexivity) marks what is peculiar to identity
1.2 n7 p.21 Identity cannot be defined, because definitions are identities
1.5 p.29 A restored church is the same 'church', but not the same 'building' or 'brickwork'
2.1 p.48 In Aristotle's sense, saying x falls under f is to say what x is
2.1 p.49 Identity is primitive
2.1 p.54 'What is it?' gives the kind, nature, persistence conditions and identity over time of a thing
2.2 p.57 By the principle of Indiscernibility, a symmetrical object could only be half of itself!
2.4 p.60 Every determinate thing falls under a sortal, which fixes its persistence
2.8 p.73 The sortal needed for identities may not always be sufficient to support counting
3.1 p.77 Natural kinds are well suited to be the sortals which fix substances
3.1 p.77 Nominal essences don't fix membership, ignore evolution, and aren't contextual
3.1 p.79 A 'conception' of a horse is a full theory of what it is (and not just the 'concept')
3.1 n4 p.81 Semantic facts are preferable to transcendental philosophical fiction
3.3 p.90 Artefacts are individuated by some matter having a certain function
3.3 p.91 A thing begins only once; for a clock, it is when its making is first completed
3.3 p.93 Priests prefer the working ship; antiquarians prefer the reconstruction
3.5 p.101 We conceptualise objects, but they impinge on us
4.3 p.110 A is necessarily A, so if B is A, then B is also necessarily A
4.5 p.117 It is hard or impossible to think of Caesar as not human
5.2 p.133 Realist Conceptualists accept that our interests affect our concepts
5.5 p.139 Conceptualism says we must use our individuating concepts to grasp reality
5.6 p.141 Our sortal concepts fix what we find in experience
5.7 n18 p.144 Animal classifications: the Emperor's, fabulous, innumerable, like flies, stray dogs, embalmed….
1995 Substance
192a30 p.31 Matter underlies things, composes things, and brings them to be
4.1 p.214 We refer to persisting substances, in perception and in thought, and they aid understanding
4.10.1 p.230 Sortal predications are answers to the question 'what is x?'
4.10.1 p.231 An ancestral relation is either direct or transitively indirect
4.11.2 p.235 A river may change constantly, but not in respect of being a river
4.13.1 p.242 Sortal classification becomes science, with cross reference clarifying individuals
4.13.2 p.244 The category of substance is more important for epistemology than for ontology
4.13.3 p.245 Seeing a group of soldiers as an army is irresistible, in ontology and explanation
4.3.3 p.218 Naming the secondary substance provides a mass of general information
4.4.1 p.219 Substances contain a source of change or principle of activity
4.5.1 p.220 If the kinds are divided realistically, they fall into substances
4.5.1 p.221 We never single out just 'this', but always 'this something-or-other'
4.5.1 p.222 'Human being' is a better answer to 'what is it?' than 'poet', as the latter comes in degrees
4.5.1 p.222 Secondary substances correctly divide primary substances by activity-principles and relations
2001 Sameness and Substance Renewed
p.118 A sortal essence is a thing's principle of individuation
p.119 Wiggins's sortal essentialism rests on a thing's principle of individuation
p.149 We can accept criteria of distinctness and persistence, without making the counterfactual claims
p.154 Objects can only coincide if they are of different kinds; trees can't coincide with other trees
p.156 What exists can't depend on our conceptual scheme, and using all conceptual schemes is too liberal
p.161 Identity is an atemporal relation, but composition is relative to times
p.427 'Sortalism' says parts only compose a whole if it falls under a sort or kind
p.603 Relative Identity is incompatible with the Indiscernibility of Identicals
p.604 Identity a=b is only possible with some concept to give persistence and existence conditions
p.605 A thing is necessarily its highest sortal kind, which entails an essential constitution
Pr.2 p.4 The formal properties of identity are reflexivity and Leibniz's Law
Pr.3 p.5 We learn a concept's relations by using it, without reducing it to anything
Pr.5 p.10 We can use 'concept' for the reference, and 'conception' for sense
1.1 p.22 Relativity of Identity makes identity entirely depend on a category
1.2 p.27 Do both 'same f as' and '=' support Leibniz's Law?
2.2 p.58 To identify two items, we must have a common sort for them
2.2 p.61 Asking 'what is it?' nicely points us to the persistence of a continuing entity
2.3 p.29 The evening star is the same planet but not the same star as the morning star, since it is not a star
2.3 p.32 Identity over a time and at a time aren't different concepts
2.4 p.66 Not every story corresponds to a possible world
2.6 p.38 If I destroy an item, I do not destroy each part of it
2.6 p.69 Many predicates are purely generic, or pure determiners, rather than sortals
2.7 p.46 Substitutivity, and hence most reasoning, needs Leibniz's Law
2.7 p.75 Is the Pope's crown one crown, if it is made of many crowns?
3.4 p.98 The question is not what gets the title 'Theseus' Ship', but what is identical with the original
3.6 p.105 The mind conceptualizes objects; yet objects impinge upon the mind
4.1 p.107 Lawlike propensities are enough to individuate natural kinds
4.11 p.136 Possible worlds rest on the objects about which we have suppositions
4.12 p.137 Activity individuates natural things, functions do artefacts, and intentions do artworks
4.2 p.109 We can forget about individual or particularized essences
4.2 p.113 (λx)[Man x] means 'the property x has iff x is a man'.
4.2 n4 p.109 Leibniz was not an essentialist
4.3 p.116 Hesperus=Hesperus, and Phosphorus=Hesperus, so necessarily Phosphorus=Hesperus
4.5 p.121 The possibility of a property needs an essential sortal concept to conceive it
4.7 p.126 The idea of 'thisness' is better expressed with designation/predication and particular/universal
5.2 p.143 Essences are not explanations, but individuations
6.5 p.166 Boundaries are not crucial to mountains, so they are determinate without a determinate extent
6.9 p.178 It is easier to go from horses to horse-stages than from horse-stages to horses
Ch.4 p.4 Essentialism is best represented as a predicate-modifier: □(a exists → a is F)
III.iii.15 p.417 The nominal essence is the idea behind a name used for sorting