Primitive Thisness and Primitive Identity

  title={Primitive Thisness and Primitive Identity},
  author={Robert Adams},
  journal={The Journal of Philosophy},
  • R. Adams
  • Published 1979
  • Philosophy
  • The Journal of Philosophy
Is the world—and are all possible worlds—constituted by purely qualitative facts, or does thisness hold a place beside suchness as a fundamental feature of reality? Some famous philosophers—Leibniz, Russell, and Ayer, for example—have believed in a purely qualitative constitution of things; others, such as Scotus, Kant, and Peirce, have held to primitive thisness. Recent discussions of direct, nondescriptive reference to individuals have brought renewed interest in the idea of primitive… 

Identity and Necessary Similarity

  • Raja Bahlul
  • Philosophy
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy
  • 1992
The Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles (PH), commonly attributed to Leibniz, has given rise to much discussion and debate. Thus philosophers have argued over how it should be formulated,

Strong And Weak Possibility

The thesis of existentialism holds that if a proposition p exists and predicates something of an object a, then in any world where a does not exist, p does not exist either. If “possibly, p” entails


The standard view of metaphysical necessity is that it is truth in all possible worlds, and therefore that the correct modal logic for metaphysi cal necessity is S5, in models of which all worlds are

The Virtues of Thisness Presentism

Presentists believe that only present things exist. But opponents insist this view has unacceptable implications: if only present things exist, we can’t express singular propositions about the past,


Propositions represent the entities from which they are formed. This fact has puzzled philosophers and some have put forward radical proposals in order to explain it. This paper develops a

From Combinatorialism to Primitivism

Modal primitivism is the view that metaphysical modality cannot be reduced to something entirely non-modal. It is often rejected for reasons of ideological simplicity: the fewer primitive notions a

Essential Properties and Individual Essences

According to Essentialism, an object’s properties divide into those that are essential and those that are accidental. While being human is commonly thought to be essential to Socrates, being a

The solo numero paradox ( forthcoming in the American Philosophical Quarterly )

Leibniz notoriously insisted that no two individuals differ solo numero, that is, by being primitively distinct, without differing in some property. The details of Leibniz's own way of understanding

Qualitative Grounds

Suppose that all non-qualitative facts are grounded in qualitative facts. I argue that this view naturally comes with a picture in which trans-world identity is indeterminate. But this in turn leads

The Modal Status of Leibniz's Principle of Sufficient Reason

  • Owen Pikkert
  • Philosophy
    Journal of the American Philosophical Association
  • 2020
Leibniz's principle of sufficient reason (PSR) is the claim that everything has a sufficient reason. But is Leibniz committed to the necessity or to the contingency of his great principle? I argue