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Essences, Identities and Individuals

English title Essences, Identities and Individuals
Applicant Correia Fabrice
Number 159472
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Institut de philosophie Faculté des lettres Université Neuchâtel
Institution of higher education University of Neuchatel - NE
Main discipline Philosophy
Start/End 01.04.2015 - 31.01.2019
Approved amount 131'397.00
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Keywords (25)

Metaphysics; J. Duns Scotus; Ontology; Ontological dependence; Individuals; R.M. Adams; Identity; Identity-dependence; Modality; Transworld identity; Essence; Thisness; Direct reference; D. Kaplan; Properties; Haecceitism; Essentialism; Proper names; Bare identities; Leibniz's law; Haecceitas; S. Kripke; Individuation; Primitiveness; Possible worlds

Lay Summary (Italian)

Lead
L’Ecceitismo è una teoria metafisica riguardante l’identità degli individui. La sua tesi centrale è che l’identità di ciascun individuo non sia determinata dalle proprietà qualitative che solitamente si pensa distinguano un individuo dall’altro, ma bensì primitiva. In altre parole, ciascun individuo è l’individuo che è, e in quanto tale distinto da ogni altro individuo, in virtù di un fatto primitivo - per esempio, Barack Obama è l’individuo che è ed è distinto da me in quanto possiede (lui solo) la proprietà primitiva di essere B. Obama.
Lay summary

Soggetto e obiettivo

Il dibattito riguardante l’Ecceitismo ha inizio negli anni ’70 del ‘900; tuttavia, ancor oggi non c’è consenso sulla definizione di tale teoria. Questo progetto propone un’interpretazione dell’Ecceitismo come la tesi che gli individui non abbiano essenze individuali qualitative. Analizzeremo tale definizione confrontandola con quella fornita da Kaplan nel 1975. Un confronto tra l’essenzialismo riguardante gli individui e quello riguardante i generi naturali e il tentativo di ovviare alla mancanza di una chiara definizione di ‘individuo’ faranno parte di questa fase. Passeremo poi ad un esame delle definizioni alternative alla luce di nozioni metafisiche centrali come quella di dipendenza ontologica. Analizzeremo infine gli argomenti pro e contro le essenze individuali qualitative mettendo in luce le conseguenze per una teoria generale di ciò che è possibile e di ciò che è necessario.

Contesto socio-scientifico

Il progetto utilizza il modus operandi della filosofia analitica – in particolare, l’analisi concettuale, la logica filosofica, le nozioni tipiche della metafisica analitica. Miriamo così a inserire i suoi risultati nel dibattito riguardante la metafisica degli oggetti individuali e l’essenzialismo. Il progetto beneficerà di collaborazioni internazionali e sarà inserito nell’ambito di eidos, the Centre for Metaphysics.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 29.03.2015

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
The logic of relative fundamentality
Correia Fabrice (2018), The logic of relative fundamentality, in Synthese, /.
Grounding, Essence, And Identity
Correia Fabrice, Skiles Alexander (2017), Grounding, Essence, And Identity, in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
Real Definitions
Correia Fabrice (2017), Real Definitions, in Philosophical Issues, 27(1), 52-73.
Ontological Dependence
Correia Fabrice (2017), Ontological Dependence, in Seibt Johanna , Gerogiorgakis Stamatios , Imaguire Guido , Burkhardt Hans (ed.), Philosophia , Munich , 379 -383.
Algebraic Generalism: Some Comments
Scarpati Maria (2016), Algebraic Generalism: Some Comments, in RIFAJ , /.
Essenzialismo e proprietà essenziali
Scarpati Maria, Baratella Riccardo, Essenzialismo e proprietà essenziali, in APhEx , /.
Granularity
Correia Fabrice, Granularity, in Raven Michael (ed.), Routledge, Abingdon and New York, /.
More on the Reduction of Necessity to Essence
Correia Fabrice, More on the Reduction of Necessity to Essence, in Dumitru Mircea (ed.), Oxford University Press , Oxford , /.
Ontological Dependence, Grounding, and Modality
Correia Fabrice, Ontological Dependence, Grounding, and Modality, in Shalkowski Scott, Bueno Otávio (ed.), Routledge, London , /.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Professor Penelope Mackie Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Professor Achille Varzi United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Professor Boris Kment United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Professor Massimiliano Carrara Italy (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Dr Sonia Roca-Royes Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Professor Márta Ujvári Hungary (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Dr Alexander Skiles Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Professor Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Professor Sam Cowling United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Professor Shamik Dasgupta United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Professor Peter Simons Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Professor Andrea Bottani Italy (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
VI Workshop on Analytic Metaphysics Talk given at a conference Haecceitistic Differences in Counterpart Theory 15.08.2018 University of Buenos Aires , Argentina Scarpati Maria;
La philosophie moderne. Enjeux historiques et systématiques – Journée d’étude en l’honneur de Richard Glauser Talk given at a conference En faveur de l’hyper-essentialisme 04.06.2018 University of Neuchâtel , Switzerland Correia Fabrice;
Leçon inaugurale Individual talk Le concept d’identité au cœur de la métaphysique 07.03.2018 University of Geneva , Switzerland Correia Fabrice;
Essentialism - Old and New Talk given at a conference Real Definitions 26.09.2017 Humboldt University of Berlin , Germany Correia Fabrice;
Seminario di filosofia analitica Individual talk Metaphysical Haecceitism and the Individuals Assumption 11.09.2017 University of Padua , Italy Scarpati Maria;
ECAP9 Talk given at a conference Metaphysical Haecceitism and the Individuals Assumption 21.08.2017 University of Munich , Germany Scarpati Maria;
Graduate Workshop in Philosophy Individual talk Metaphysical Haecceitism and the Individuals Assumption 07.12.2016 Columbia University, NYC , United States of America Scarpati Maria;
Metaphysics of Entanglement Invited Speakers Talks Talk given at a conference Essence as Generalised Identity and Real Definition 25.10.2016 University of Oxford , Great Britain and Northern Ireland Correia Fabrice;
Humboldt Workshop on the History of Ground Talk given at a conference A Logic for Relative Fundamentality (and Grounding) 18.06.2016 University of Helsinki , Finland Correia Fabrice;
Ground, Essence and Modality Talk given at a conference Real Definitions 08.06.2016 University of Helsinki , Finland Correia Fabrice;
The Metaphysics of Properties and Relations Talk given at a conference Generic Identity and its Uses 01.07.2015 University of Bergamo , Italy Correia Fabrice;
Workshop on First-Order and Second-Order Metaphysics Talk given at a conference Individuals and Holistic Explanation 05.06.2015 Ovronnaz , Switzerland Scarpati Maria;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Haecceitism and Individuals 26.08.2016 University of Neuchâtel , Switzerland

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
114758 La théorie de l'essence 01.09.2007 SNSF Professorships
164937 Haecceitism as a Theory of Individual Essences 01.09.2016 Doc.Mobility
147685 Grounding - Metaphysics, Science, and Logic 01.12.2013 Sinergia
150289 The Nature of Existence: Neglected Questions at the Foundations of Ontology 01.11.2013 Project funding (Div. I-III)
135262 Essence and Metaphysical Grounds 01.09.2011 SNSF Professorships

Abstract

Consider an individual - for instance, yourself. Major philosophical issues among which individuation and the ontology of individuals face metaphysicians with such questions as: what makes it the case that you are you, and you are different from every other individual - e.g., from me? What condition, or what collection of conditions, is both necessary and sufficient for being identical with you, hence different from any other individual?This project deals with Haecceitism, a view according to which the identity of individuals is primitive, both intra- and transworldly. According to a haecceitist, given an individual x, it is possible that no collection of purely qualitative conditions is both necessary and jointly sufficient for being identical with x. However, this is not yet a definition: the notion of qualitative needs to be characterized first. In fact, the debate about Haecceitism in analytic metaphysics, started by Robert Adams and David Kaplan some decades ago, has not expired yet, and a great part of it still consists in attempts to properly define the very doctrine at issue. Our project will prove innovative in several ways. It will address the lack of a clear-cut definition of the notion of 'individual' in the debate about Haecceitism - a problem that seems to have been ignored so far. The definition of 'qualitative' that haecceitists usually assume critically depend on that notion; by bridging such a gap, we will help reaching a proper understanding of Haecceitism. In the latter concern, we will advance a proposal that was never explicitly defended before: we will suggest that Haecceitism can adequately be characterized as the claim that it is not the case that, necessarily, individuals have qualitative individual essences. So construed, the view has interesting consequences on any account of essentialism and modality de re. This project will also help solving a problem that earlier conceptions have left open: the question whether a Kripkean approach to modal talk entails Haecceitism. Finally, notions of ontological dependence and of identity-dependence in particular will play a main role in our work; this will open the way to dialogue with current research about fundamentality and grounding.The project group will consist of a senior researcher, Fabrice Correia (professeur extraordinaire, University of Neuchâtel) and a doctoral collaborator, Maria Scarpati (assistante-doctorante, University of Neuchâtel).
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