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Problems from Locke$
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J. L. Mackie

Print publication date: 1976

Print ISBN-13: 9780198750369

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198750366.001.0001

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Identity and Diversity

Identity and Diversity

Chapter:
(p.140) 5 Identity and Diversity
Source:
Problems from Locke
Author(s):

J. L. Mackie

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198750366.003.0006

Mackie sets out Locke's general theory of identity and raises some difficulties with the account. Hume's claim that the notion of identity is a fiction is critically assessed. Mackie argues that there is a relation between Locke's notion of identity and the notion that individuals can have essences. He presents an argument for what he calls Locke's thesis about the relativity of identity. The relevance of Kripke's discussion of identity and named individuals is examined. It is argued that Locke's thesis about the relativity of identity can provide a means of understanding some problems concerning identity through time.

Keywords:   Hume, identity, individual essences, Kripke, relativity of identity

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