Project description

The focus of the project “Identity: Criteria of Synchronic and Diachronic Identity” is on determining the criteria for numerical identity of different kinds of entities: physical objects, abstract entities, possible objects, persons, groups, kinds, properties, relations, etc.

The main goal of the project is to critically reeaxmine the often implicit criteria of identity:, namely, time-space continuity, time and place of origin, the Leibniz’s Law of the Identity of Indiscernibles (∀x∀y[(x=y)↔∀F(Fx↔Fy)]), etc.

Major part of the project’s activity includes the following: we analyze statements such as “there would not be x if x would not have the property F”; also we analyse the idea of mereological essentialism; we investigate the logical possibility of discontinued existence; criteria for the identity of natural kinds; the concept of the ideal self; the problem of preserving identity through transformation and assimilation; the criteria of identity of fictional characters; the role of identification with values in the constitution of the self; the problem of identity through possible worlds (Yagisawa); the role of memory in the constitution of individual and collective identity; etc.

Even though this reaserch is quite general in character, it has a direct application in a number of philosophical and akin disciplines, such as sociology, cultural studies, literary criticism, political science, etc. To give a couple of examples; the difference between the ideal and actual self leads to different apporaches in the contractarian grounding of ethics and philopshy of politics. It enables universalization in ethics and defining the notion of reason. The difference between the actual self and the things that are outside of us essentially underlies the compatibilist understanding of the free will. The difference between identity and survival enables better understanding of transformation and assimilation, etc.

This project is funded by the University of Rijeka (Croatia).