Is identity really so fundamental?

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Krause, Décio; Arenhart, Jonas R. B.
preprint description
We critically examine the claim by Otávio Bueno (Bueno O. 2014. “Why identity is fundamental”. American Philosophical Quarterly 51, 325-332) that identity is a fundamental concept. Bueno advances four related theses in order to ground such a claim: 1) identity is presupposed in every conceptual system; 2) identity is required to characterize an individual; 3) identity cannot be defined; 4) the intelligibility of quantification requires identity. We address each of these points and argue that there are no compelling reasons to hold that identity is fundamental in these cases. So, in the end, identity may not be a fundamental concept after all.