Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

Author Item Excerpt Meta data
Millikan, Ruth
Books on Amazon
Identity I 187
Identity/stabilization function/Millikan: necessarily identifying descriptions may have three different identification functions.
1. To introduce well-known referents into the discussion.
2. To introduce new referents
3. Sometimes, necessary identifying descriptions are also purely descriptive: e.g. "John is the tallest boy in the family" does not express identity!
I 197
Identity Statement/Identity Sentence/Identity Assertion/Image/Millikan: Suppose "A" and "B" are single words. Does the sentence "A is B" have to map something to exercise its stabilizing function?
Stabilization function: according to the stabilization functions of the lowest types, "A" and "B" are referential terms.
Truth: the identity statement is true if these referential types have the same referent.
R be this (common) referent.
Problem: do "A" and "B" map a fact here that has "R" as a variant?
Intentional Icon/Millikan: if "A is B" is an intentional icon, it has
two variants, "A" and "B" and an invariant "___is___".
Intentional icon: if the identity statement is an intentional icon of a fact, it must contain two variants and one invariant.
Fact/logical form/problem: which triadic fact (world affair) that contains R as a variant should correspond to "A is B"?
Identity/Relation/Tradition/Millikan: sometimes identity is thought of as a two-digit relation, which has a thing to itself and nothing else.
Two-digit/relation/Millikan: To think of identity like this means to think of it as a variant (variable) within a triadic world state,
Monadic relation/Millikan: a monadic relation is simply a property.
Identity: if it is to be a variant (variable) of a world state, it must be a simple property: self-identity.
Problem: "A is B" has two variants and one invariant. There can, however, be no intentional icon of the dyadic state of the world, which simply exists in R's self-identity.
I 197
Identity/relation/property/Millikan: if identity is not a relation, it should be a property. It can only be a property if there is also an opposite property.
Problem: what should be the opposite of self-identity? "Self-difference"?
Identity/Millikan: identity is not a property at all. Just as little as "being or" or "being and" is a property.
Self-identity/Millikan: how would it be for a thing to not be self-identical?
Self-identity/representation/Millikan: the identity of a thing with itself is reflected in representations of the thing not by the articulation of the representation, but only insofar as it is represented by the same.
I 240
Identity/Millikan: we must add an epistemology of identity to the ontology of identity.
I 257
Identity/Substance/Millikan: Thesis: the identity or the sameness of a substance implies the naturally necessary rejection of contrary properties.
Thus, identity is a structured natural phenomenon.
I 258
Identity/Millikan: identity is not a relation between a thing and itself. It does not map a world state with a referent, but they form a relation between the reproductively determined family of "A" and "B", whereby these families are protoreferents and not represented referents.
I 264
Definition Self-identity/Self-Identity/Identity/Naturalism/Millikan: Thesis: the sameness of an individual is constituted in part by the natural necessity that it has all the same properties as it has. This is not a "conceptual truth," but a theory about the nature of identity. ("Naturalistic view" rather than a "logical view").
Millikan: but that is not a reduction of the identity of an individual to something else.
For example, the identity of an individual qua sameness, which has a variability of different properties, is not reduced or explained by this view.
Identity/Logic Form/Millikan: the identity itself is represented as the statement of the form: "Px and Sx and Rx".
Reduction: (of an individual) would only be possible if one had an ontology that recognizes only properties, but not a category of individuals.
Identity/Naturalism/Millikan: If the naturalistic view of identity is correct, then the discovery that a certain given individual exists is like the discovery that a particular natural law applies! When a natural law exists, there is a corresponding regularity in nature.
((s): MillikanVsNon-instantiated natural laws)
Problem: an observed regularity does not yet guarantee that a natural law is involved.
Problem: also the discovery of an agreement of all properties does not guarantee yet that it is the same individual. The concurrence of properties could come about by chance.
This is, however, extremely abstract and has no interesting consequences.
1. We must link it to a theory about the identity of properties, and to a theory of how it is for an individual to have a property.
2. The theory must be generalized for all substances. That is, as natural species and materials may also have properties similar to individuals.

Millk I
R. G. Millikan
Language, Thought, and Other Biological Categories: New Foundations for Realism Cambridge 1987

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-04-30