Hintikka on the problem with the problem of transworld identity
It is now almost an established canon in the philosophical literature on modality that there is no problem of transworld identity. Even Kaplan, one of the first to give a precise expression to the problem, has long ago repented of the views which led to his worries. Indeed a survey of the literature on transworld identity reveals that almost nothing has been written on the question since the early 80's. The emphasis, however, should be on the word "almost" in the last sentence. There has been one philosopher who has continued to insist against conventional philosophical wisdom that there is a problem with the notion of transworld identity. That philosopher is Jaakko Hintikka. I would like to accomplish two things in this paper: 1) I would like to outline the reasoning that has led philosophers to believe that there is no problem of transworld identity. 2) Then I hope to show that Hintikka is right; there is a problem of transworld identity. It is a problem because one cannot decide which theory of metaphysical necessity is correct without first determining the correct theory of transworld identity. Every viable theory of metaphysical necessity will assume some substantive theory of identity.
Catterson, T. (2004)., Hintikka on the problem with the problem of transworld identity, in J. Symons & D. Kolak (eds.), Quantifiers, questions and quantum physics, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 33-47.
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