The Determinable-Based Account of Metaphysical Indeterminacy and Vague Identity



Year of publication 2020
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Keywords metaphysical indeterminacy; determinable-based account; constitution account; vague identity; macro-object boundary
Description This paper focuses on Jessica Wilson’s determinable-based account of metaphysical indeterminacy and its relationship to the concept of vague identity. The determinable-based account comprises a distinction between meta-level and object-level accounts of metaphysical indeterminacy. I first argue that the distinction cannot be clearly applied to some theories. In particular, I argue that even though Wilson categorizes the constitution account of metaphysical indeterminacy as a meta-level account, from one perspective it can be defensibly regarded as an object-level account, because it is bound to posit genuinely indeterminate states of affairs and provides an explanation of boundary indeterminacy that is structurally analogous to the explanation provided by Wilson’s object-level account. This interim conclusion is important, because it has been argued that the constitution account, when applied to some more complex types of boundary indeterminacy, cannot avoid commitment to vague identity, in spite of the declarations of some of its proponents. The ultimate goal of this paper is to argue that, contrary to Wilson’s claims, the determinable-based account must embrace vague identity too.
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