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Introduction

  • Laurance J. Splitter
Chapter
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Abstract

Identity in its proper home and place (specifically mathematics and logic, with some conceptual extensions), is one of those juicy concepts ripe for philosophical reflection and deliberation. This is because it satisfies what I term the “3Cs”: identity is central to ways in which we understand and experience the world (5 year olds learn about the “=” sign, largely because not much mathematics can proceed without it; and we often need to know when objects are identical or the same, particularly when perceived at different times); sufficiently common (familiar) to have generated a broad consensus concerning its ordinary linguistic use (i.e. we know how to use the term “identity” or “=”); yet contestable just because its meaning is not clear, and its various interpretations have been the subject of ongoing dispute among scholars for whom conceptual clarity is a matter of considerable importance (chiefly, philosophers). This introductory chapter lays down the path I intend to tread as I seek to provide such clarification and, along the way, expose some woolly thinking about how “identity” is interpreted in the social sciences.

Keywords

Personal Identity Natural Kind Moral Status Individual Person Actual Identity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laurance J. Splitter
    • 1
  1. 1.Hong Kong Institute of EducationNew TerritoriesHong Kong SAR

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