Identity Principle ?

Identity Principle ?

I have issues with the Identity Principle, and it should be called Principle and not Law since it is The First Principle from which all else derives. It is just plain Wrong. That’s all. I said it. And why ? Well any entity, in order to be identical to some other entity must be exactly the same, that is it must have the same spatial, temporal coordinates and all else. But how can anything even be the same to itself if even time is always flowing and changing ? the same entity that was a moment ago is already different from the same entity at this very moment because they now occupy two different time coordinates. And no matter how small you make the time interval, it is always different, at least in that measurent. Even at 10 ^ -1000 picoseconds which is way past anything we can measure, it still represents a different number, a difference, no matter what. And at the same time all other entities are also in different time slots, and the very act of perceiving and seeing and measuring any entity implies that the signal from the entity was generated a small time ago (the entity may not even be there when you receive the signal anymore ? or may just disappear and appear and fool you if even for a very small time interval ?), so the entire deal of calling something Identical to something else, even itself, implies a rough approximation, a rough guess, just a good enough measurement, a logical measurement, good enough “for us and our uses”. Don’t get too anal, you know, just accept that it is good enough.

But that is the whole point: if the Identity Principle was declared and established exactly because the Man Brain became “too anal” on the whole deal, started to want greater precision, started to want something more solid and absolute, and wanted to create a precise logic, then why did it stop halfway and just decide, oh, it is good enough now, now we can say two things are Identical ? Because it wanted to lie to itself and fool itslef, it wanted to state the falsest Principle of all time and namely two entities must be different from each other to be distinguishable and each entity must be identical to only itself, etc. But this is not possible, all entities are constantly different from themselves if only for the flow of time, and then start putting in the small movements in space and already two of the coordinates of the same entity have changed instantly, time and space, let alone all the other trillions of measurements against that entity that can be performed from all the other entities in the Universe, all of them also changing position, time slots and even properties and all.

So the real Principle should state: No Entity is Ever Identical to Any Other Entity or Even Itself, there is Absolutely no Basis for Any Logic at all, there is No Basis to Enforce the Principles of Non Contradiction, in fact Existence and all Entities are Total Absolute and Complete Contradiction of All with Itself and with All.

We only use these Principles of Identity and Non Contradiction because they are simple gadgets that just kind of work for us, that are just comfortable approximating tools for an approximating Man Brain that just decides the truth is anything that is comfortable to itself, not really wanting to achieve absolute truth.

Just like when Einstein became too anal trying to understand time and gravity and space and discovered how “relative” it all is, I became “too anal” with the Principle of Identity and discovered that it is false, a hoax and a joke.

All Contradictions are Welcome, I thrive in being Wrong, and who said I wanted to solve any problems ? I want ever more problems impossible to resolve, I want to fail ever more in my quest to resolve problems, I want ever more problems…

Is the information about a thing equivalent in any way to that thing?

What if things are information based?

Is the relationship between information presented equivalent that received; does such an exchange itself change the information?

So yea I kind of agree with your points, but we do know correlative things, don’t we? In other words we only need a roundabout idea of a thing to basically get it, such knowledge about the world doesn’t need to be exact ~ there is enough in the derivatives [even if implied] to form basic knowledge about things.

Otherwise we would have no idea about the world and couldn’t possibly be communicating here.

Unless we are on the Outside looking In: we are outside of the Universe looking inside of it from Nowhere, or from a Platonic, Logical World or from a pure Information Relationship world: We are a momentary lapse of dependency on Matter, we are momentarily independent from Matter and details and are justified in Gross approximations and translations of all into pure mathematical entities…

Unless? So you roughly agree then. :slight_smile:

I assume you mean that the observer is looking in, hence gains only a secondary interpretation of what’s ‘in’ or ‘there’ ~ or something like that.

The “Identity Principle” says nothing about anything being equal to anything else. That would an Equation.

The “Identity Principle (Law)” merely states that “by any other name/label (such as “A” or “B”) a thing is still identical to whatever it is”.
It merely states that “It is whatever it is” regardless of what you call it.

What is what it is?

The description of a thing is as false as the thing it attempts to describe.

Not really.
If I say, “that thing over there is an what I call an “XYZ””, then it is an “XYZ”.
How can that be wrong? How can it be anything but an XYZ?
Now if I also said, "that thing over there [the same thing] is what I call an “RST”, then that is also what that same thing is.
Then because of both of those being declared, I can say that an XYZ ≡ RST [identically equal]

How could it be wrong?

That is not possible. Same and different, aka form and material, aka absolute and relative, etc, are elements, not things, and cannot be predicated of.

Study Plato, and also mentioned in Aristotle.

One can either use them in construction, or one cannot actually think at all.


(that makes 2) :wink:

Because there is no “XYZ”, you have just called it that. Its an imaginary term for a reality that can never be entire [or otherwise absolute] and hence not true in and of itself. That is to say; ‘what is partial is not true’ where we can supplement true for real if you like.

Because either description can never be exact, and the thing it describes can never be exact, hence its always going to be wrong.

edit; Certainly when you make the connection between any two things as in; ‘XYZ ≡ RST [identically equal]’, you have already added a third factor [the connection] and ascribed equal labels to both, when any description would at least put them in different spatial locations as compared to one another and their environment. Otherwise we are simply naming the same thing twice?


Anthropomorphism, and a self-referential fallacy.

Names are neither true or false.

I would really hurt a great deal if I thought so poorly.

I can name anything as any name I like. The name has nothing to do with the object being named other than acting as a reference word. There is no “imaginary thing” that I am equating anything to. I have merely given a name to whatever was there. There is no wrong to it unless I infer that the same name also is used to describe something else that is different. That would constitute an equivocation error.

What is “partial” IS true, but not complete. No one said that the item was ONLY an averaged box or dog.

I disagree, my description was exactly 100% accurate.
So point out where you think my description was in error.
In what way is the item NOT an XYZ or an RST?

That is exactly what we ARE doing. THAT is the whole point to the Identity Principle. It is ONLY talking about ONE thing at a time.

“Identity Principle” is a grammatical abomination. Where is the philosophy forum anyway?

to perceive requires time

but time itself is a difference in perceptions

thus an entity is not itself

for multiple reasons…

‘to be’ perhaps requires the passing of time

and the comparison of ‘an entity’ and ‘itself’ requires time to comprehend, thereby pointing out the difference

i love it when arguments go here… or start here

i think it begins to touch upon something more profound


a topic that no one will likely convince me he/she fully understands

a topic that i don’t understand yet want to understand more

OP no two things can be in the same place at the same time, and the place and time in which a thing is, is a property of that thing, so no two things can share that property. I get that.

But, to say that this means you can’t have a law of identity means that you’re saying that every other property of those two objects can be identical, but if those aren’t then the objects aren’t identical so there can be no law of identity ignores the fact that you’ve made proper identifications the other 99.999% of the time.

Science just deals in corelations, so it’s ok if we just rule out this one property, things can’t really be absolute anyway.

There’s 2 great papers, by David Kellogg Lewis on this stuff that I find interesting. One is called, “an argument for identity theory”, and the other, “elusive knowledge”, which is about the times when certain kinds of skepticism can be properly ignored.

Geez, how many times does this have to be said;


There’s a bigger problem than that, James. Whatever you want to call it - a law, a principle, a rule of thumb - it has absolutely no use in logic, or in philosophy, for that matter. It’s just something that Aristotle came up with and that people have liked to refer to over the years. Something closer to what Smears mentions is of some use - and it is often called the same thing. It’s usually just called “equivalence”. I don’t know who wrote the Wiki article, but I wouldn’t leave home and family to study logic under him.

“OP no two things can be in the same place at the same time,”

Not exactly: Nothing at all (no ONE thing) can be in the same place and at the same time because time is always flowing and the thing is always changing position.


There is not even ONE object involved since you cannot pinpoint it down in time and space to infinite precision.

But, the very fact that we can use these approximate principles means that we somehow “format” reality, we “translate it” we “decode it” into something else, we “Digitize it” into some kinds of ONEs and ZEROS and act upon it. How can we, when if we are made up of matter and matter itself doesn’t even contain ONE entity that can possible exist and is the same to itself ?

We are some gadget looking at the world from Outside of it, we are in some abstract world, we are outside of the universe looking in and formatting it according to our Man Brain. And it works for us and it is ok, and all is well, we don’t need precision.

But the real properties of the world and universe, by denying the very possibility of the Identity Principle deny the possibility of any possible logic and non contradiction, hence the Universe is totally contradictory and totally incomprehensible, is totally disjoint from us, a total absolute unknown, has nothing at all to do with us, zero relationship with us, we are aliens here…

Of course, we will keep on using logic and mathematics and physics and such because it works and it is “good enough” for our uses, etc. But something is deeply wrong with our Man Brain, hence design a new one, create a new Man brain that operates on pure contradiction and kills all logic and Identity Principles and Non Contradiction…(granted, not an easy task… maybe an impossible task ?).

Haha… you have more than proven that you are hardly a source for such. :laughing: