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Australasian Journal of Philosophy


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Thisness
Richard Swinburne
a a

Oriel College, Oxford Version of record first published: 02 Jun 2006.

To cite this article: Richard Swinburne (1995): Thisness, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 73:3, 389-400 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00048409512346721

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Australasian Journal of Philosophy Vol. 73, No. 3; September 1995

THISNESS Richard Swinburne It might well seem that individuals of some kinds have haecceitas or thisness, which makes them different, from other individuals of the same kind otherwise indistinguishable from them. In the first part of this paper I seek to make the notion of thisness more precise, and I then go on to consider which kinds of individuals have thisness. I shall unhesitantly suggest that abstract objects, places, and times do not. I shall hesitantly suggest that material objects do not. I shall confidently suggest that animate beings (such as humans) and also conscious events which involve them do have thisness; and I shall hesitantly suggest that all other events also have thisness. These suggestions will be backed up by arguments, but inevitably my discussion will raise many other central philosophical questions which a paper such as this cannot discuss adequately. The point of the paper is, however, to show how different answers to these questions are connected to each other by the central notion of thisness; and to show how the grounds for ascribing thisness to individuals of one kind interact with the grounds for ascribing it to individuals of. another kind. An individual has thisness in the sense at which I am aiming if a very weak form of the principle of the identity of indiscernibles does not apply to it. The principle states that two individuals are the same if they have all the same properties; but takes different forms according to what is allowed to constitute a property. I distinguish monadic properties, as those which pertain to individuals however they are related to actual individuals, from relational properties. Philosophers may disagree about which properties are monadic, but plausibly the traditional primary qualities are monadic. So too plausibly are causal powers and liabilities. The power to exert such and such a force is a property possessed by an individual, whether or not it ever exerts it or whether there are any other actual individuals on which it can exert it. I understand by a general relational property a property of relation to some individual of a certain kind, i.e., having certain m o n a d i c and general relational properties. General properties include both monadic and general relational properties. I understand by a particular relational property one which involves a relation to particular individuals. I understand by a particular individual one which is the individual it is not solely in virtue of its general properties, i.e., one which is not necessarily identical with any individual which has all the same general properties. Being ten feet away from a round steel ball or living in a big city are general relational properties. Living in London or standing to the left of John may be particular relational properties. Whether they are will depend on whether being London or being John is just a matter of being an individual with certain monadic and general relational properties; or whether there is more to it than that. A relational property may be hard or soft. A hard property is one which belongs 389

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to an individual at a certain time solely in virtue of how things are at that time. A soft property is one which belongs to an individual at a time in virtue of how things are at other times; that is, the truth conditions of it belonging to an individual at one time lie at other times. 1 A soft future-related property is one which belongs to an individual at t in part in virtue of how things will be at times later than t. Being the next century's greatest prime minister is a soft future-related property, because it belongs to an individual in one century in virtue of how things will be in the next. A soft past-related property is one which is not future-related but belongs to an individual at t in part in virtue of how things were at times earlier than t. Among soft past-related properties are properties of continuity - e.g., spatio-temporal continuity, or continuity of experience with past individuals. This table's being spatio-temporally continuous with a certain earlier table is its p o s s e s s i n g a certain soft past-related property. These distinctions among kinds of property give rise to many different forms of the principle of the identity of indisceruibles. In my descriptions and subsequent discussions of these forms all properties of the above kinds will count as properties except the properties of being identical with particular individuals (or properties which entail such properties). I ignore these-latter 'properties' because the whole point of a principle of the identity of indiscernibles is to analyse the identity or distinctness of individuals in terms of other properties which they possess. It is a consequence of this restriction that I count something as a property if and only if it is a universal, i.e., can (at any rate in a different possible world) be possessed by different individuals. In consequence all disjunctions of properties are properties, and most conjunctions of properties are properties - whether all conjunctions of properties are properties depends on whether two distinct individuals can have the same conjunction of all their properties - i.e., the very issue which is the concern of this paper. I now distinguish six forms of the principle useful for my purposes. In the case of individuals which can exist wholly at more than one time, such as material objects, animate beings, and places - let us call them continuants - these principles concern the identity of two individuals at a time; the clause 'at some time' may be inserted after the word 'properties' in each form of the principle below. I assume by the necessity of identity - that if two individuals are the same at one time, they are the same at all times. In the case of individuals which can exist wholly only at ofie time, such as times and events, the clause 'at some time' should be omitted. These principles concern not merely the identity of individuals in a given world, but across possible worlds; that is, they concern what would make an individual the individual it is even if the world were different in various respects. [A] [B] Any two individuals which have all the same properties are the same individual. Any two individuals which have all the same hard and past-related soft properties are the same individual.

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Of course, the notion of 'the truth conditions of it belonging to an individual at one time' may need to be spelled out by obvious examples, in order to rebut the suggestion that all properties

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[C] [D] [E] [F]

A n y two individuals which have all the same hard properties are the same individual. A n y two individuals which have all the same general hard and pastrelated soft properties are the same individual. A n y two individuals which have all the same general hard properties are the same individual. A n y two individuals which have all the same general hard monadic properties are the same individual.

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These forms of the principle are clearly not the only ones possible, but they are the only ones to have been seriously entertained; and they are in order of increasing strength (except that, while [C] and [D] are both stronger than [B] and weaker than [E], they are not comparable with each other with respect to strength). [D] differs from [E], and [B] from [C] by weakening the latter form to require sameness of properties which belong to individuals in virtue of how things have been in the past. [E], and its weaker form [D], claim that mere general properties (monadic and relational) s u f f i c e to i n d i v i d u a t e . [C] and its w e a k e r f o r m s [B] and [A] r e q u i r e sameness of particular properties as well. In the sense in which I am interested, an individual has thisness if the weakest form of the principle - [A] - does not apply to it? That is, what makes it the individual it is is not solely a matter of its properties which is what Duns Scotus, to whose interpreters we are indebted for the notion of haecceitas, seems to be claiming when he affirms the unanalysability of what m a k e s individuals the individuals they are? It is something distinct and intrinsic to each individual which has it. Any individual which has thisness will be a particular individual in the s e n s e d e l i n e a t e d earlier, but not c o n v e r s e l y . S o m e p a r t i c u l a r individuals may be the ones they are in virtue (as well as of their general properties) of their relations to other particular individuals, which latter have thisness. But there cannot be any particular individuals unless some particular individuals have thisness, otherwise there would be a vicious infinite regress, a would be the particular individual it is in virtue (as well as of general properties) of its relation to b,

continued... are soft. For someone may say that, for example, being Prime Minister is a soft property, because among its truth conditions is having been about to become Prime Minister at some earlier time. But the latter is obviously (on any reasonable understanding of truth-condition) not a troth-condition which lay at the earlier time, not a matter of 'how things were' then. 2 Leibniz,to whom we owe the principle of the identity of indiscemibles, was unclear which form of the principle he was advocating. He certainly uses at times the strongest form in order to show that there could not be two leaves or drops of water in different places indistinguishable from each other. (See [8, 4.4].) But elsewhere he claims that we must take relational properties, including soft relational properties into account. See the discussion in [9, pp. 45f and 60f], of what makes Adam Adam. It involves at least everything that happened to him throughout his life, and, he seems to imply, every general property of relation to anything anywhere at any time in the Universe. 3 Duns Scotus discusses the question of what is the principle of individuation - what makes a thing 'this' and not 'that' - in, among other places, [3]. In nn 168-187 he explains that individual difference arises from a contraction of the specific form, like the way in which a generic form is contracted to a specific but unlike it in that what we are left with is no longer a universal. The 'thisness' of an individual, that is, is a particular way of being a member of its species.

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which would be the individual it is in virtue (as well as of its general properties) of its relations to c, w h i c h . . , and so on ad infinitum. There would be nothing ultimately which particu!arised the general properties. It seems fairly evident that abstract objects do not have thisness, because they are individuated by [E]. Thus two integers which had the same monadic properties and the same general relational properties would be the same integer; any integer which was the cube of the second prime integer, greater than the fifth prime integer, and less than the ninth integer would be the number 8. There could not be a different integer which had all the same general properties. Likewise a given time (whether period or instant) or place (whether volume or point) is what it is in virtue of its monadic properties and its relations to other things (including other times and places). It may well be that places (and perhaps even times) have monadic properties - geometrical properties of curvature, say, and properties of stress and tension. Moreover, places have spatial relations to other places, relations of containment to the material objects which occupy them, and maybe causal relations to material objects (e.g., in that they cause places to have the geometry they have). And, of course, times have temporal relations to other times, relations of happening-at to the events which occur at them, and maybe causal relations as well. And different places and times may well have different monadic as well as different relational properties. I do not wish to deny anything which any absolutist known to me wishes to affirm about space or time (and so about spacetime, if that locution is preferred). But my claim is simply that there could not be a universe which differed from the actual universe in the sole respect that there was one time or place in it different from the corresponding time or place of the actual universe. There could not be, for example, a different year between 1989 and 1991, which had all the same properties (e.g., at which all the same events occurred) from the actual year 1990. And there could not be a different place from the place now occupied by the sun with all the same properties as it - the same geometry, the same stress properties, the same relations to other places and material objects. For suppose that there could be, then there would be a slot between 1989 and 1991 which could be occupied by different years; and a slot in the region of the sun which could be occupied by different sun-shaped places. But such a slot would then itself be a time or a place; and so a time would occupy a time and a place a place. But to say that is to evacuate the notions of time and place of any clear meaning. And if one place or time cannot have thisness, the same goes for any other. So places or times cannot be individuated by their particular relational properties to other places or times having thisness. Hence the whole framework of space or time (or space-time) cannot have thisness. What makes it what it is and what makes an individual place or time what it is can only be (as well as its monadic properties, such as curvature) relations to individuals of other kinds, viz., material objects which occupy space or the events which occur at times. 4 Leibniz used the identity of indiscernibles to prove a stronger thesis about space and time. He claimed that there would be no difference if the whole collection of material bodies of our universe, preserving the same spatial relations to each other, were placed in one place rather than in another. 'Tis impossible there should be a reason.., why every thing was not placed.., by changing East into West. The one would exactly be the same thing as the other, they being

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But at first sight inanimate material objects look to be a strong case for having thisness. Clearly [F] does not apply to them. There can be two qualitatively identical objects, each of the same shape, size, and colour in all of its parts, in different places. And symmetrical universes seem to present an obstacle to the suggestion that [E] applies to material objects, and the obstacle applies to [13] as well. 'Isn't it logically possible that the universe should have contained nothing but two exactly similar spheres?', asked Max Black2 Each would be of the same size, Shape, 'made of chemically pure iron', at a distance of two miles from a sphere of that kind, and we may add - situated at a place which has all the same monadic properties as every other place, and each has a qualitatively similar history, e.g., each has the past-related soft property of being spatio-temporally continuous with a sphere with the same hard properties for infinite past time; and yet the two spheres would be different. This consideration moves us, for material objects, in the direction of the weaker forms, [C], and (taking spatio-temporal continuity into account), [B], as the strongest which can be asserted. Each material object in a symmetrical universe would, by principle [B], be a different individual if it is the individual it is in virtue of its relations to individuals which are the individuals they are not solely in virtue of their general properties. Thus sphere a could be individuated by a particular relational property of being two miles away from sphere b, if sphere b was the sphere it was not solely because of the general properties it possessed. But if the property of being two miles away from sphere b amounts to no more than being two miles away from a sphere of a certain kind, the apparent particular relational property turns out to be a general one. Since presumably each sphere is individuated in the same sort of way as each other sphere, if sphere a is not the sphere it is solely in virtue of its general properties, it cannot be individuated by its spatial relation to sphere b, since the same will be true of the latter. [B] might suffice to individuate material objects if they have relations to individuals other than material objects. Thus if places had thisness the two spheres would be different in virtue of having different relations to the places which filled space. But I have argued that places do not have thisness. Alternatively, i f - contrary to Black's supposition - the universe contained an immaterial observer which had thisness, the spheres could be individuated by their different relations to this observer (e.g., one could cause an effect in the right-side of his visual field, and the other in the left). But in the absence of individuals of any other kind having thisness, it would seem that there could be two distinct material objects which were not distinguished by [B]. But [A] differs from [B] only in allowing that future-related soft properties might make all the difference. Yet that is not plausible. Two individuals can only have a different future history (e.g., one cease to exist at t, and the other continue to exist after t) if there are already two individuals distinct in virtue of
continued...

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absolutely indiscernible' [8, 111.5]. And the same goes, he claimed, [8, 111.6] for the Suggestion that everything might have been created a year sooner. But his thesis depends on his assumption that 'space is something absolutely uniform', i.e., that all places have the same monadic properties, and the corresponding assumption about time. I am not following him in making these

assumptions.
See [2, p. 156].

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other considerations, who might subsequently have different histories? If we accept that the two qualitatively identical iron spheres two miles away from each other in an otherwise empty universe are different, we are forced to deny that even [A] has application to them, and so to affirm that what makes them the individuals they are is something other than their properties. Black's thought experiment seems to show that there could be a universe in which material objects had thisness. But that thought experiment does not seem to me sufficient to show that the material objects of our universe have thisness. For may it not be that they are like magnetic and gravitational fields? There couldn't be a different magnetic field from the one there is in some place of exactly the same shape and strength as a given field. It seems to me that Quantum Theory gives quite good reason for supposing that the 'fundamental particles' of our universe are like that, disturbances in a field. To take a highly simplified example - suppose you have two particles, bosons 11 and 12, which you identify by their positions at t 1 - 11 in Pa (box 1) and 12 in P2 (box 2), the two boxes being separated from each other by a partition. Suppose the partition then removed and replaced before t2, then at t 2 each particle must be either in Pl or in P2. There might then seem to be four possible distinct arrangements at t2: both in Pl; both in Pa; 11 in Pl and 12 in P2; and 11 in P2 and 12 in Pl. We cannot in general, according to Quantum Theory, trace continuous paths for particles7 and so cannot observe where 11 or 12 go. There are then only three possible arrangements distinguishable (by us) at t2: both particles in pfi both in P2; one in Pl and the other in P2. We cannot distinguish between the two apparently distinct alternatives covered by the third distinguishable possibility. But maybe there is a truth all the same about whether it is 11 which remains in Pl or whether 11 is in P2. The normal interpretation of Quantum Theory denies that there is. It claims that properties alone make particles the ones they are, and since there is no continuity with past particles, that means hard monadic and relational properties alone; that principle [E] individuates. (11 in Pl and 12 in P2) and (12 in PI and 11 in P2) are not distinct alternatives - particles have no underlying thisness. The evidence for this is that if this supposition that there are only three distinct alternatives is correct, and if distinct alternatives are equiprobable, we should find the three arrangements with equal frequency. Quantum statistics assures us that we do find that. Hence, given the assumption of equiprobability, it is evidence for particles lacking thisness. The assumption of equiprobability is an a priori one - which we ought to make in the absence of reason for supposing otherwise (e.g., some good reason suggested by physical theory why some arrangements are more likely to occur than others). No one has produced any such good reason - so the evidence currently suggests that particles lack thisness? See [1, pp. 18f]. 'Particles do not move in well-defined trajectories, so the question of spatio-temporal continuity of trajectory does not arise' [4, p. 244]. See, e.g., [10]. Redhead and Teller point out that the normal system of labelling particles misleadingly suggests that they do have (in my terminology) thisness, and that there is available a different system of description of the Quantum domain, the Fock space description, which avoids this assumption.

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But there is nothing more to large-scale material objects except the fundamental particles and the relations these have to each other. So ordinary material objects also do not have thisness. They are just intertwined fields of force? In consequence, the objects of our world, for logical reasons, could not - given what they are - be arranged symmetrically. That does not rule out there being a sphere two miles away from another sphere - but it would be the same sphere, space being c u r v e d : I stress that this result - that material objects do not have thisness - is simply a consequence of a scientific theory best supported by observational data. New data leading to a new theory could overturn all that. But Quantum Theory is at present very well supported by the data, and it would need a lot to overthrow it. At first the (logical) impossibility of the objects of our world being arranged symmetrically seems a strange consequence. Our universe began, we are told, almost symmetrically. The universe exploded from the Big Bang almost symmetrically. So the particles of the initial explosion couldn't, for reasons of logic, have been in slightly different positions from the ones in which they were (viz., so as to be symmetrical). But how could logic prevent a different arrangement of particles? A possible answer is suggested if we take Quantum Theory a bit more seriously. According to that theory, the real truth about the 'Big Bang' is that from that moment onwards what really evolved was the W-function of the whole universe. Without observations the 'particles', which I have written about as though they were very small billiard balls, are really totally 'entangled' with each other in that function. Separate particles being 'here' or 'there' are the results of observations, of an interaction between the W-function and an apparatus measuring for position. Such a measuring apparatus is a device which measures in such a way as subsequently to carry a mark of a particle's position relative to itself (i.e., acquires a different monadic property in virtue of the distance and direction which it measures). In a narrow sense only an animate being can constitute a measuring apparatus. In a wide sense any bit of the universe (or the W -function which corresponds to it) can function as a measuring apparatus. Now if we understand the notion in the wide sense, as physicists u s u a l l y do, then m e a s u r e m e n t has b e e n g o i n g on from the very 9 In a non-symmetrical world, we can distinguish objects from each other by their macroscopic properties. In the case of large-scale objects, that means not only hard general properties (monadic and relational), but also soft properties including the normal crucial property of spatiotemporal continuity. Our normal criteria for the identity over time of such objects are fairly loose ones. Billiard ball b2 is the same as billiard ball b~ if it has roughly the same size, mass, shape etc., as it, and preserves spatin-temporal continuity with it as a whole over time, whether or not its component particles preserve spatio-temporal continuity with the individual particles of bl. The identity over time of a large-scale material object is unaffected by the object losing or gaining quite a number of particles, and particles 'jumping' from place to place within the object (i.e., a particle disappearing from one place and another appearing in another place). Hence such objects will obey different statistics from the Quantum statistics which govern their constituent particles. They will, to use an analogy, be the statistics of swarms of particles rather than of individual particles. However we could insist on stricter criteria of identity for largescale objects (e.g., insist that gain or loss of a particle makes an object cease to exist and be replaced by another one). But the stricter our criteria, the fewer objects will persist through time, and the more closely the large-scale objects will obey Quantum statistics. ~0 This possible interpretation of the datum of there being an iron sphere two miles away from an iron sphere was drawn to our attention in Hacking [6].

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moment of the Big Bang; and so particles have had 'position' from then onwards. In that case we shall simply have to say that a Universe qJ-function has to have such a nature as always to yield asymmetrical measurements - and that this is a deep physical fact about such a W-function. (The matter of a symmetrical physical universe would have to be of quite a different kind from the matter of our uniyerse.) But if we understand the notion of measurement in the narrow sense as, for example, Wigner 11 did, the position becomes quite different. For the notion of the Universe having begun symmetrically (or not) can then only be construed in a strained sense as it having begun in such a way as to produce (when there were animate beings who alone could measure it and so give its particles position) a symmetrical (or other) universe. If these animate beings do not have thisness, symmetry is again ruled out. But if, as I am about to argue, animate beings do have thisness, then a symmetrical universe is perfectly possible. For its particles could differ from each other by having different particular relational properties (e.g., distance and direction) to an animate being having thisness. If there were two symmetrical animate beings, they would differ from each other solo numero and particles on different sides of the Universe would be at different distances from each. So what about animate beings - i.e., beings who are at least intermittently conscious, such as humans? I suggest that there is a strong case for their having thisness. The world could have been such that there was a human who had all the same general properties and relations as myself, and the same conscious mental life described in general terms e.g., a pain followed by a thought that people were hostile, followed by a blue image etc. That human could also have had all the same particular relational properties, hard and soft, as m y s e l f - e.g., if, contrary to what I have argued, inanimate material objects have thisness, that human could have been born from an embryo made of the same particular bits of matter. And yet that human could have been quite different from myself. That is, in more fashionable terms, there is a possible world in which there is a human with all the same properties as myself who is not me - at least so it would appear unless we assume in advance some contentious philosophical position. And this point will be even more evident if inanimate material objects (including bodies) do not have thisness. For in that case if animate beings also do not have thisness, any human being who had at some time all the same general properties as myself would be me. For if no continuant has thisness, there are no particular properties of relations to continuants by which a continuant at some time could be distinguished from any other. In that case there couldn't be a world qualitatively identical to this world in which I do not exist, arid that seems implausible. Or again, to use a familiar kind of example, given a brain operation in which a certain amount of my brain matter is removed, are there not two logical possibilities for what might occur thereafter - either that I survive and have certain experiences, or, that I cease to be, while someone else has experiences qualitatively identical and connected to the same brain? Surely it is a factual matter whether I survive some 1~ See [12].

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brain operation, yet not one entailed by what happens to the brain matter and what experiences the subsequent person has. That is, there is a possible world in which I am whatever person has the subsequent experiences and brain; and a possible world in which I am not such a person - or so it will seem to someone who does not presuppose a dogmatic position in advance. Yet if all else could be the same, and yet either I survive or I don't, jt must be something other than my properties which makes an individual me - that is, I must have thisness. Here the intuition of logical possibility is immensely stronger than in the two iron spheres case, because surviving is something of which we have experience from moment to moment. If I have one image, followed by another, or an auditory sensation at the same time as a visual one, my justification for believing that these are had by the same subject of experience is simply that it is a datum of experience that this is so. My grounds for believing that the same individual has these experiences are not that that provides the best explanation of other more immediately accessible data. That two experiences (at a time or over time) belong to the same subject is an unanalysable datum. All the experiences we have are temporally extended and so involve an awareness of the first half of the experience as co-experienced by the same subject as the second half. Hence all experiences involve an awareness of the subject of experience, and of our own experiences we have as intimate an awareness as we can have of anything.12 Plausibly, therefore, if we don't know what we are aware of here, viz., something which doesn't entail, though it may normally accompany, the continuity of exactly so much brain matter; and which is who it is quite independently of which experiences it may have; we could never know what we are aware of, and so have no data on which to build any scientific theory. A n d if we can't make judgements of logical possibility here, we can't make such judgements anywhere; and if we can't do that, we can't do philosophy. Yet, of the iron spheres, we have only an external awareness. We observe the properties and (justifiably - before modern physics came along) judge the best explanation of their manifestation to be that they inhere in some substance, which could have been the subject instead of different properties, and which is such that a different substance could have had the same properties. But all that is making sense of what is given more immediately to the senses. With ourselves we have a direct access (in the way explained) to the subject in whom the experiences inhere. Hence human beings (and other animate beings) are far stronger candidates for having thisness than are material objects generally. The argument for human beings having thisness does of course move far too briefly over some well-worn and controversial philosophical territory; 13 but I re-emphasise that my project in this paper is to provide an overview of the plausible candidates 12 This despite Hume's famous remark: 'When I enter most intimately into what I call myself, I always stumble on some particular perception or other, of heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure. I never catch myself at any time without a perception' [7, 1.4.6]. It may well be that Hume never catches himself without 'a perception' (i.e., a conscious episode) but his bare data are not just 'perceptions'; he does not just observe perceptions at a distance and wonder whose they are. Rather his data are successions of overlapping perceptions, experienced by a common subject, himself, who is also aware of them. He is aware of them as bound together by occurring to a common subject. 13 For a lengthier defence of my views on this issue, see [11].

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for thisness and the issues involved in their candidature. If anyone does not accept these arguments for animate beings having thisness, then presumably they will consider that the same empirical factors are relevant for animate beings as for inanimate material objects; and so, if they accept my account of the scientific evidence, they will conclude that animate beings do not have thishess. I come finally to events, which I understand as the instantiations of properties in concrete individuals of the kinds discussed so far (inanimate material objects, animate beings, times, and places). Events thus include both continuing unchanging states and changes of state. Now it does look as if there is a possible world consisting of the continuants of our world and the properties which are instantiated in them, which is cyclical. Again and again, I (not just someone like me) could sit at this desk (not just one like it) and have the property of having a headache. Any one of this infinite sequence of events could have occurred at times having all the same properties and could have had all the same temporal relations to events involving the same continuants and properties - i.e., each event of my having a headache could have been preceded by an event of my sitting down and followed by an event of my standing up and could have occurred at times with no distinguishing properties. We may, of course, try to deploy the principle of the identity of indiscernibles very quickly in the form of principle [D], ~4and say that really there is only one event (of my having a headache), but time is circular and that event is both before and after itself. I do not find this account very plausible - for two reasons. First, there is a great difference between having a headache which lasts half an hour and will never happen in future, and having a headache which will inflict itself upon me at regular intervals for an infinite future. To say that in both cases I only experience headache for half an hour scarcely seems to do justice to the situation. Another reason for supposing that the present headache is different from the future headache arises from the fact that the former is part of the present state of the Universe E 1 which causes some later state E 2 prior to E3, a state which includes my future headache. If E 1 is the same state as E3, we have causation in a circle. Intuitively that is not possible. Its impossibility follows from another principle that causation is logically contingent. 'Anything can produce anything', wrote Hume. 15 His point can be put in this way: it is logically possible that a sufficiently powerful being could alter the laws of nature at a time t2 in such a way that some event had, instead of its normal effect, at time t3, one incompatible with it. So if E t caused E z and E 2 caused El, a sufficiently powerful being could at the moment of E2's occurrence so alter the laws of nature that E 2 caused not-E1; in which case E 1 would have (indirectly) caused E 1 not to occur - which is absurd. I conclude that if our universe were cyclical, there would still be a difference between my present headache and ones yet future or past. So what makes the As does Griinbaum. See [5, pp. 197-203]. [7, 1.3.15.] There is a subsequentsentencelimitingthe possibilityof causationto objectswhich are 'not contrary' to each other; but even that could not be deployed to rule out E1 causing Ez, and E2 separatelycausingnot-Ev

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headaches different? If times had thisness, the two events could differ by their different particular relations to periods of time. One could occur at this period and the other at that (even though periods of time had all the same monadic properties as each other). But I have already argued against times having thisness. There is only one possible answer remaining - that these events themselves have thisness. This headache is different from that headache solo n u m e r o . I reached this conclusion by reflecting on the nature of an event, which, like the example I chose of an animate being (myself), was one of which I have as intimate an awareness as I have of anything; and about the logica! possibilities of which I can pronounce as surely as I can about any logical possibilities. And I suggest that any one else who sometimes has headaches will - if he does not yield too quickly to constraints of some philosophical dogma - reach the same conclusion as I have. Clearly what goes for headaches goes for any other conscious events. Each conscious event occurring to an animate being has thisness. The apparent logical possibility of a universe containing only the inanimate continuants of our universe being cyclical, suggests that all events involving them also (as well as non-conscious events involving animate beings) have thisness. In a cyclical universe one event of a separation of Moon and Earth must be different from a later event of such a separation, since the former can form part of the cause of the latter and hence (in view of the impossibility of causation in a circle) must be distinct from it. Hence one coinstantiation of the same collection of properties can differ from another such coinstantiation even when the difference does not lie in their being properties of different inanimate or animate beings. Yet a caution is necessary here. The intuition of the apparent logical possibility of there being a cyclical universe containing only the inanimate constituents of our universe might prove deceptive in view of the fact that we have only an external awareness of the nature of what we are dealing with in the case of inanimate material objects. It might be the case that there is some deep physical fact about the nature of such objects which prevents there being a temporally cyclical universe consisting solely of them (of the same kind as the deep physical fact about the W-function which makes impossible a spatially symmetrical universe consisting of them alone). In that case the logical possibility of a cyclical universe would depend on the presence in it of animate beings whose conscious events have thisness and thus provide a principle of individuation to distinguish inanimate events otherwise indistinguishable. This separation of Moon and Earth would differ from that one, in virtue of the fact that the former occurred before this headache, and the latter separation occurred after it. The issue of which kinds of individuals have thisness is the issue of which kinds of symmetry or replication are possible. If, despite my arguments, someone thinks that no individuals have thisness, then any world just like this one (and any segment of the world just like this one in its general properties), would be this one. There would be nothing more to the world than the instantiation of properties; there would be no content to their being instantiated in this individual rather than that, or to this instantiation being different from that. But if there is thisness, there can be duplication and replication, and things differ according to where and when properties are instantiated. I have presented my arguments as to where thisness lies; but also -

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and this is the main point of the paper - shown the connections between ascribing thisness to individuals of one kind and ascribing it to individuals of another kind.* Oriel College, Oxford Received March 1994 Revised July 1994

REFERENCES

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1. Adams, R.M., 'Primitive Thisness and Primitive Identity', The Journal of Philosophy 76 (1979) pp. 5-26. 2. Black, M. 'The Identity of Indiscernibles', Mind 61 (1952) pp. 153-164. 3. Duns Scotus, Ordinatio II d. 3 p. 1, in his Omnia Opera (Vatican City: Scotistic Commission, 1950) vol.7. 4. French, S. and Redhead, M., 'Quantum Physics and the Identity of Indiscernibles', British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 39 (1988) pp. 233-246. 5. Griinbaum, A., Philosophical Problems of Space and Time (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1964). 6. Hacking, I., 'The Identity of Indisceruibles', The Journal of Philosophy 72 (1975) pp. 249-256. 7. Hume, D., Treatise of Human Nature (1739), (ed.) L.A Selby-Bigge (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1951). 8. Leibniz, G.W., 'Letters' in H.G. Alexander (ed.), The Leibniz-Clarke Correspondence (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1956). 9. Leibniz, G.W., 'Letters' in H.T. Mason (ed.), The Leibniz-Arnauld Correspondence (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1967). 10. Redhead, M. and Teller, P., 'Particle Labels and the Theory of Indistinguishable Particles in Quantum Mechanics', British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 43 (1992) pp. 201-218. 11. Swinburne, R., The Evolution of The Soul (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986). 12. Wigner, E., 'Remarks on the Mind-Body Question' in J.A. Wheeler and W.H. Zurek (eds), Quantum Theory and Measurement (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1983).

The penultimate version of this paper was read at the 3rd Congress of the Austrian Society for Philosophy in Salzburg in February, 1984. A German translation of it will be published in the Proceedings of the Congress.