Thisness and Events

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9 Citations (Scopus)


This essay is an investigation into the existence of primitive thisness, i.e. the property of being a particular individual. I begin with a look at what is commonly taken to be the test for primitive thisness, namely, the failure of application of the principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles for some class of individuals. The two classes that I look at are those of material objects and events. I then discuss Hacking’s objection to the general project of seeking counterexamples to the Identity of Indiscernibles, and consider a response due to Adams. I argue that Hacking’s objection does, indeed, count against the instantiation of thisness by material objects. I go on to argue, however, that Hacking’s objection does not hold against the instantiation of thisness by events, and that this is due to a fundamental disanalogy between space and time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-276
Number of pages22
JournalThe Journal of Philosophy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2009


  • Metaphysics
  • Identity
  • Properties
  • Events

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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