more from Peter Simons

Single Idea 12857

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

Full Idea

There mere fact that Tibbles can survive the mutilation of losing a tail, whereas the sum of Tib and the tail cannot, is enough to distinguish them, even if no such mutilation ever occurs.

Gist of Idea

Tibbles isn't Tib-plus-tail, because Tibbles can survive its loss, but the sum can't


Peter Simons (Parts [1987], 6.1)

Book Reference

Simons,Peter: 'Parts: a Study in Ontology' [OUP 1987], p.210

A Reaction

See Idea 12835 for details of the Tibbles example. Either we go for essentialism here, or the whole notion of identity collapses. But the essential features of a person are not just those whose loss would kill them.

Related Idea

Idea 12835 Does Tibbles remain the same cat when it loses its tail? [Simons]