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Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 17, 2008


Eric M. Peng
Pages 121-127
DOI: 10.5840/wcp22200817811

Indiscernibles and Trope Transferability
A Trilemma and a Possible Way Out

Assuming the position that takes properties to be tropes rather than universals and takes ordinary objects as bundles of tropes, the essay first argues that the Law of the Identity of Indiscernibles survives the challenge raised by Black's "two-sphere universe". It is because the Law of Indiscernibles becomes a trivial consequence of the assumed trope ontology. The essay then considers four construals of the thesis of Uniqueness differing in strength. The construals are developed in terms of both the possibility that tropes of an object may be transferred to another object and the possibility that objects may survive cross-world property changes. Finally, the essay argues that a trilemma arises from three intuitively innocent claims: (1) that same world objects do not share tropes, (2) that cross world objects may share some (but not all) tropes, and (3) that objects may survive cross-world property changes. And, unfortunately, Indiscernibles plays a role in giving rise to one horn of the trilemma. The essay suggests "ultraessentialism" as a possible way out of the trilemma.

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