Sortal Predicates, Identity and Quantification

  • Max A. Freund
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 408)


The traits that might define the nature of a sortal predicate and, more general, that of a sortal concept, are one of the main topics of this chapter. It is pointed out that a complete specification of all defining traits might, in principle, be an impossible task. For this reason, we focus on just four of the criteria that have been proposed. These are those of individuation, identity, classification and counting. We discuss these criteria and assume them as necessary features of any sortal predicate. The grounds for this assumption are the different prototypes of sortal and non-sortal predicates that have guided the discussion of the subject. Other important themes considered in this chapter include sortal and absolute identity; Leibniz’s law for sortal identity; first-order sortal and absolute quantification; second-order sortal quantification; and sortal and standard predication.


Predication Sortal predicate Sortal identity Sortal quantification Leibniz’s law Absolute identity Absolute quantification 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Max A. Freund
    • 1
  1. 1.Professor of Logic and Philosophy, Graduate Program in PhilosophyUniversity of Costa RicaSan JoséCosta Rica

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