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Relative identity, singular reference, and the Incarnation: a response to Le Poidevin

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  • Published online: 20 April 2011

In this article I object to Le Poidevin's (2009) contention that relative identity is beset with an infinite metaphysical regress. I argue, first, that since Le Poidevin's regress argument presupposes a direct theory of reference, it does not apply to accounts of relative identity which reject this account of reference. I argue, second, that Le Poidevin's regress is not inevitable for one who accepts a direct account of reference, since it does not apply to the formal logic of relative identity which van Inwagen uses to articulate and defend the mysteries of the Trinity and the Incarnation.

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William Alston and Jonathan Bennett (1984) ‘Identity and cardinality: Geach and Frege’, The Philosophical Review, 93, 553567.

Pawal Garbacz (2002) ‘Logics of relative identity’, Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic, 43, 2750.

Colin McGinn (2000) Logical Properties: Identity, Existence, Predication, Necessity, Truth (Oxford: Clarendon Press).

A. P. Martinich (1978) ‘Identity and Trinity’, The Journal of Religion, 58, 169181.

A. P. Martinich (1979) ‘God, emperor and relative identity’, Franciscan Studies, 39, 180191.

John Perry (1970) ‘The same F’, The Philosophical Review, 79, 181200.

Leslie Stevenson (1972) ‘Relative identity and Leibniz's law’, The Philosophical Quarterly, 22, 155158.

Eddy Zemach (1974) ‘In defense of relative identity’, Philosophical Studies, 26, 207218.

Eddy Zemach (1982) ‘Schematic objects and relative identity’, NoÛs, 16, 295305.

Eddy Zemach (1991) ‘Vague objects’, NoÛs, 25, 232340.

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Religious Studies
  • ISSN: 0034-4125
  • EISSN: 1469-901X
  • URL: /core/journals/religious-studies
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