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F.A. Muller
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preprint description
We begin by criticising an elaboration of an argument in this journal due to K. Hawley (2009), who argued that, when Leibniz’s Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles (PII) faces counter-examples, invoking relations to save PII fails. We argue that insufficient attention has been paid to a particular distinction. We proceed by demonstrating that in most putative counter-examples to PII (due to Immanuel Kant, Max Black, Alfred Julius Ayer, Peter Frederick Strawson, Hermann Weyl, Christian Wuthrich), the so-called Discerning Defence trumps the Summing Defence of PII. The general kind of objects that do the discerning in all cases form a category that has received little if any attention in metaphysics. This category of objects lies between indiscernibles and individuals and is called relationals — objects that can be discerned by means of relations only and not by properties. Remarkably, relationals turn out to populate the universe.

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