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Thread: The Law of Identity: What does it mean?

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    Contributor Speakpigeon's Avatar
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    The Law of Identity: What does it mean?

    This thread is about the Law of Identity: for all things, a thing is itself.

    This isn't a thread about logic or about the logic of the Law of Identity. So, please remember that in your replies.

    Some context now...

    The Law of Identity has been assumed as an axiom of logic since Aristotle some 2,400 years ago, but a few people here and there deny any validity to it. This is their constitutional right, of course, but some of them, possibly all of them even, may not in fact understand what the Law of Identity means to begin with.

    So, here is your chance to articulate eloquently what you think the Law of Identity really means to all of us.

    I'm not interested in quirky theories that will inevitably be about something not the Law of Identity. I'm only interested in what you think the Law of Identity means, and means to most people, even those people who have never thought about it, and including what it meant to people like Aristotle who of course are long dead now.

    Please also note that as far as I am concerned, whatever explanation as can be found in encyclopedias and such about the subject remains open to debate. We may perhaps improve our understanding of the subject by sharing our most intimate intuitions about it.

    Also, please, don't ramble. Keep to the point and leave the question of the logic of it at the door.

    However, please abstain if you can't articulate your point or argue your position in a rational way, i.e. from logic and facts.

    Thanks.
    EB

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    Quote Originally Posted by Speakpigeon View Post
    This thread is about the Law of Identity: for all things, a thing is itself.
    What exactly is there to talk about since you already tell us what you mean by some obscure phrase?

    This is hardly a law.

    A mere truism.

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    Shrunken Member WAB's Avatar
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    If I say:

    A is A

    will people shoot me?
    If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to a library. - Frank Zappa

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    Quote Originally Posted by WAB View Post
    If I say:

    A is A

    will people shoot me?
    Those two things are in different locations so they are not the same thing.

    But this is not a thread about such things.

    You could say: A is.

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    Shrunken Member WAB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by WAB View Post
    If I say:

    A is A

    will people shoot me?
    Those two things are in different locations so they are not the same thing.

    But this is not a thread about such things.

    You could say: A is.
    http://importanceofphilosophy.com/Me..._Identity.html

    But I was also referring to Ayn Rand's use of A is A, hence the fear someone might want to shoot me.
    If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to a library. - Frank Zappa

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    Quote Originally Posted by WAB View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by WAB View Post
    If I say:

    A is A

    will people shoot me?
    Those two things are in different locations so they are not the same thing.

    But this is not a thread about such things.

    You could say: A is.
    http://importanceofphilosophy.com/Me..._Identity.html

    But I was also referring to Ayn Rand's use of A is A, hence the fear someone might want to shoot me.
    A has an identity.

    But A is not A.

    They are in two different locations so they each have an individual identity distinct from the other.

    To stipulate A is A is an act of abstraction. It is eliminating the fact they are different unique entities.

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    Contributor Speakpigeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WAB View Post
    If I say:

    A is A

    will people shoot me?
    You'll be fine as long as you don't go on to claim that B is B.
    EB

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    Shrunken Member WAB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by WAB View Post

    http://importanceofphilosophy.com/Me..._Identity.html

    But I was also referring to Ayn Rand's use of A is A, hence the fear someone might want to shoot me.
    A has an identity.

    But A is not A.

    They are in two different locations so they each have an individual identity distinct from the other.

    To stipulate A is A is an act of abstraction. It is eliminating the fact they are different unique entities.
    You'll have to take that up with Aristotle and Rand, as I was just making a joke. Not to say I object to anything you wrote.

    ETA: Then again, substituting the universe for A, if I say the universe is the universe, does that put the universe in two different locations?

    ...just trying to play along...
    If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to a library. - Frank Zappa

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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Reference: Law of identity

    Electron A is electron A. I call this the property of electron time and place identity.

    On the other hand, Spin S of electron A may be spin S of electron B if they have been, at some point, in contract.

    So property of spin type S in electron A can be part of identity of electron B as spin type S. But property S retains it's property identity. Whatever occurs with spin in Electron A also occurs at the same time in electron B thus maintaining identity of spin type S.

    This signals to me that spin identity need not be electron identity that the property of spin of an electron is determined by contact between two electrons

    Yet even while the place of Spin S is with electron B is different from that of Spin S in electron A the property of identity of spin S remains a time property identity regardless of where Spin S is located. However the property of identity for spin S remains a time property of identity. This would suggest there can be properties of identity which are consistent in some aspect of another.

    Rather than restarting property of identity we need separate dimensionality of associated properties by dimension. That is, some properties of a thing may be the same as properties of another thing without changing the meaning of property of identity. Any difference in properties is sufficient to distinguish one thing from another.

    If the example that place of electron A is different than the place of electron B is sufficient to sustain the property of identity of both Electron A and electron B even though their included properties of spin remain identical.

    A bit confusing because I'm not a trained philosopher but it should be adequate to keep this discussion moving along.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WAB View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by WAB View Post

    http://importanceofphilosophy.com/Me..._Identity.html

    But I was also referring to Ayn Rand's use of A is A, hence the fear someone might want to shoot me.
    A has an identity.

    But A is not A.

    They are in two different locations so they each have an individual identity distinct from the other.

    To stipulate A is A is an act of abstraction. It is eliminating the fact they are different unique entities.
    You'll have to take that up with Aristotle and Rand, as I was just making a joke. Not to say I object to anything you wrote.
    And a damn funny joke it probably was.

    Then again, substituting the universe for A, if I say the universe is the universe, does that put the universe in two different locations?
    By saying that A is the universe you have said it represents something. That in itself is a massive abstraction.

    A is the universe?

    They appear different.
    Last edited by untermensche; 03-05-2019 at 09:26 PM.

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