Identity and the Facts of the Matter
This chapter draws out some parallels between Chisholm's Paradox and puzzles about identity through time. It focuses on the example of Old Number One, the Bentley racing car in which Wolf ‘Babe’ Barnato won the Le Mans 24 hour race in 1929 and (debatably) 1930. Attempts in 1990 to sell a certain car, also referred to as Old Number One, were resisted by some on the grounds that too many upgrades, modifications, and repairs had taken place for the 1929 car to be considered the same car as the 1990 car. The chapter argues for the coherence of a ‘no fact of the matter’ verdict about such puzzles, and develops apparatus that involves a novel conception of degrees of truth in terms of higher-order levels of vagueness, thereby avoiding the need for talk of ‘degrees of identity’.
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