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# Do You Have a Solution For Philosophy's Identity Problem?

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posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 02:39 AM
It is a simple question: can two objects be identical?

In my previous thread I said no. This is because I had believed that two identical objects would present a logical contradiction.

A Philosophic Dilema: Can Two Objects Be Identical?

Using my thoughts and studies on Wittgenstein, the universe, and the concept of identity, I will look into this supposed logical contradiction and try to show that it is possible to have two identical objects.

A is A. A is not B.
B is B. B is not A.
If two objects are identical, A=B

My motivation for looking deeper into this is Wittgenstein, who says in Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus that there are no philosophical problems, only problems with our language.

"Most of the propositions and questions of philosophers arise from our failure to understand the logic of our language. And it is not surprising that the deepest philosophical problems are in fact not problems at all." (4.003)

Here is my proposition to show that it is possible for two objects to be identical. This is a hypothetical situation which has no parts that have been either proven or disproven, therefore it qualifies as a valid hypothetical situation.

The universe at its creation is a singular universe, there are no parallel universes. OBJ A, a sphere, is created some time later. OBJ A then runs into a situation where there is a 2/3 chance it will turn blue, and a 1/3 chance it will turn green. In this universe, whenever there is a probability with multiple courses of action, it splits into separate universes that represent all courses of action. Therefore, the universe acts out all possible courses of action using what I will call branching universes. In this case, the original universe will split into 2 universes where the sphere turns blue, and 1 universe where the sphere turns green. All other factors other than color stay constant.

Let us take a look at the logic here:
OBJ A = OBJ B
OBJ A = OBJ C
OBJ A = OBJ D

OBJ B = OBJ C
OBJ C = OBJ D?

As you can see here, our logic fails to accurately represent this situation. If anyone else has a better grasp on logic and thinks they can logically depict this situation that would be much appreciated.

For now, what we have is a misuse of the "=" sign. OBJ A becomes OBJ B, therefore it makes sense to say OBJ A IS OBJ B. In this case, OBJ A IS OBJ D in the same way it IS OBJ B, but that doesn't mean OBJ A and any of the subsequent OBJs are identical. In fact, OBJ A cannot be identical to any of the subsequent OBJs because they don't exist at the same time; once the color changes OBJ A ceases to exist as OBJ A, and a prerequisite for identity is both objects have to exist at the same time.

And I think we can all see why OBJ B and C don't equal OBJ D; they are different colors. However, logic is unable to distinguish between the different uses of the "=" sign in this situation.

Lastly, I would argue that OBJ B and OBJ C are identical. They exist in 2 separate universes but have the same relational, intrinsic, and extrinsic properties in their respective universes. The two universes and everything within them are essentially identical until one of them branches off.

In conclusion I believe this logical contradiction that many philosophers have grappled with in the identity problem does not actually exist; it is only a problem with our language and logical symbolism.

So tell me, is this argument true, is it false, is it nonsensical, or is there more I should consider?

edit on 2-2-2013 by Wang Tang because: picture

posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 02:43 AM

A is A. A is not B.
B is B. B is not A.
If two objects are identical, A=B

The isn't a logical contradiction. Why can't the value of A be equal to the value of B?

posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 02:49 AM
There are no objects.

The Transparency of Things:
youtu.be...

There is what is seeing and there is what is seen - it is one.
edit on 2-2-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 02:57 AM

Originally posted by SpearMint
The isn't a logical contradiction. Why can't the value of A be equal to the value of B?

The values can be equal, but that doesn't mean the objects are equal.
It's like using Java's == operator versus the .equals() method. One tests to see if two things are literally the same object, the other tests to see if two values are equal.

For two things to truly be identical, they have to be the same thing. But then there wouldn't really be two things. One would be redundant. So only something that is unique exists, and anything that exists is by definition unique.
edit on 2-2-2013 by SilentKoala because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 03:06 AM

Originally posted by SilentKoala

Originally posted by SpearMint
The isn't a logical contradiction. Why can't the value of A be equal to the value of B?

The values can be equal, but that doesn't mean the objects are equal.
It's like using Java's == operator versus the .equals() method. One tests to see if two things are literally the same object, the other tests to see if two values are equal.

For two things to truly be identical, they have to be the same thing. But then there wouldn't really be two things. One would be redundant. So only something that is unique exists, and anything that exists is by definition unique.
edit on 2-2-2013 by SilentKoala because: (no reason given)

Yeah but Java is a bit of an awkward language, that's to do with strings and whatnot. Java objects are not like real objects, real objects don't have sub categories like strings and integers, so you need to stick to one or the other. Let's use _javascript.

var A = 1;
var B = 2;

if(A == B) "Identical");

An object is an object.

posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 03:09 AM

Yes but that tests if the values are equal. Even if you set A and B to 1, A and B would be different objects. They are stored in different locations in memory, even though the same value is stored.

A.equals(B) would return true, but A == B would return false.

posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 03:10 AM

The appearance that is appearing right now is one image. It appears as sound, sight, taste, touch - the image is sensational. The image is constantly changing.
The seer and knower, the perciever of the image, is constant.
The seen and the seer appear as one.

The image is like the picture on a tv screen.
The image cannot appear without the sreen of awareness being there prior to the image.

All 'things' are made of awareness - but they are never actually 'made'. Nothing has ever been created, nothing just appears.
edit on 2-2-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 03:22 AM

Originally posted by SpearMint

A is A. A is not B.
B is B. B is not A.
If two objects are identical, A=B

The isn't a logical contradiction. Why can't the value of A be equal to the value of B?

A= 5 +1
B= 3+3

A=B

posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 03:24 AM

Originally posted by retirednature

Originally posted by SpearMint

A is A. A is not B.
B is B. B is not A.
If two objects are identical, A=B

The isn't a logical contradiction. Why can't the value of A be equal to the value of B?

A= 5 +1
B= 3+3

A=B

A is A.
B is B.

See that the shape of A is different from the shape of B.
The appearance of A and B are not the same.
edit on 2-2-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 03:26 AM

Originally posted by SilentKoala

Yes but that tests if the values are equal. Even if you set A and B to 1, A and B would be different objects. They are stored in different locations in memory, even though the same value is stored.

A.equals(B) would return true, but A == B would return false.

Which is why computer languages are a bad analogy here (especially Java), the same rules don't apply. The only thing that matters is the value, the value in this case is the physical object.

posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 03:28 AM

Originally posted by Itisnowagain

Originally posted by retirednature

Originally posted by SpearMint

A is A. A is not B.
B is B. B is not A.
If two objects are identical, A=B

The isn't a logical contradiction. Why can't the value of A be equal to the value of B?

A= 5 +1
B= 3+3

A=B

A is A.
B is B.

See that the shape of A is different from the shape of B.
The appearance of A and B are not the same.
edit on 2-2-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)

The letters are irrelevant, they are just aliases. Comparing the letters themselves and comparing the value they represent are two different things. "A = 1. A = 1. A = A." could get confusing, which is why different letters are used.

posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 03:32 AM

Originally posted by SpearMint

Originally posted by Itisnowagain

Originally posted by retirednature

Originally posted by SpearMint

A is A. A is not B.
B is B. B is not A.
If two objects are identical, A=B

The isn't a logical contradiction. Why can't the value of A be equal to the value of B?

A= 5 +1
B= 3+3

A=B

A is A.
B is B.

See that the shape of A is different from the shape of B.
The appearance of A and B are not the same.
edit on 2-2-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)

The letters are irrelevant, they are just aliases. Comparing the letters themselves and comparing the value they represent are two different things. "A = 1. A = 1. A = A." could get confusing, which is why different letters are used.

The A is different from the B. But now you add values to them. The appearance of A and B are different (it is obvious to the eye) but your mind so wants to make them the same because the mind can't see what is - it sees alternatives and adds 'values'.

Eyes see and ears hear but the mind makes up fabrication.
edit on 2-2-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 03:37 AM

Originally posted by SpearMint

Originally posted by SilentKoala

Yes but that tests if the values are equal. Even if you set A and B to 1, A and B would be different objects. They are stored in different locations in memory, even though the same value is stored.

A.equals(B) would return true, but A == B would return false.

Which is why computer languages are a bad analogy here (especially Java), the same rules don't apply. The only thing that matters is the value, the value in this case is the physical object.

I disagree, because there is no way two physical objects in the real world can have the same "value" without existing in the same place at once. Even if they are physically identical in every single way, if there exists more than one, they must exist in different places, giving them a property (location) that is not identical.

If they exist in the same place at the same time, then they are really the same object, and there is only one. So it is identical to itself, but no two things are identical.

It's analogous to the Existence and Uniqueness Theorem from differential equations, which explains why two solution curves cannot cross or be tangent to each other at any point. If they are tangent then they are really the same solution curve, meaning those two solutions aren't unique with respect to each other, you are really just stating the same one unique solution twice.

posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 03:40 AM

Originally posted by SpearMint

A is A. A is not B.
B is B. B is not A.
If two objects are identical, A=B

The isn't a logical contradiction. Why can't the value of A be equal to the value of B?

It is you who has introduced 'value'. The op says nothing is the same and uses the symbols, images, of A and B but the mind has turned it into 'the value of A and B'.
It has nothing to do with 'value'. It is about appearance.

You say the letters are irrelevent and convert them into numbers.
Lost in translation.
edit on 2-2-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 04:07 AM

Originally posted by Itisnowagain

Originally posted by SpearMint

Originally posted by Itisnowagain

Originally posted by retirednature

Originally posted by SpearMint

A is A. A is not B.
B is B. B is not A.
If two objects are identical, A=B

The isn't a logical contradiction. Why can't the value of A be equal to the value of B?

A= 5 +1
B= 3+3

A=B

A is A.
B is B.

See that the shape of A is different from the shape of B.
The appearance of A and B are not the same.
edit on 2-2-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)

The letters are irrelevant, they are just aliases. Comparing the letters themselves and comparing the value they represent are two different things. "A = 1. A = 1. A = A." could get confusing, which is why different letters are used.

The A is different from the B. But now you add values to them. The appearance of A and B are different (it is obvious to the eye) but your mind so wants to make them the same because the mind can't see what is - it sees alternatives and adds 'values'.

Eyes see and ears hear but the mind makes up fabrication.
edit on 2-2-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)

A and B are irrelevant, like I said, all they are names so we can actually understand the problem. Literally the only thing that matters is what they represent.
edit on 2-2-2013 by SpearMint because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 04:08 AM

I think you should read the opening post and see what the post is saying. It is speaking about the appearance of a thing. It is not speaking about the 'value'.

posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 04:09 AM

Originally posted by SilentKoala

Originally posted by SpearMint

Originally posted by SilentKoala

Yes but that tests if the values are equal. Even if you set A and B to 1, A and B would be different objects. They are stored in different locations in memory, even though the same value is stored.

A.equals(B) would return true, but A == B would return false.

Which is why computer languages are a bad analogy here (especially Java), the same rules don't apply. The only thing that matters is the value, the value in this case is the physical object.

I disagree, because there is no way two physical objects in the real world can have the same "value" without existing in the same place at once. Even if they are physically identical in every single way, if there exists more than one, they must exist in different places, giving them a property (location) that is not identical.

If they exist in the same place at the same time, then they are really the same object, and there is only one. So it is identical to itself, but no two things are identical.

It's analogous to the Existence and Uniqueness Theorem from differential equations, which explains why two solution curves cannot cross or be tangent to each other at any point. If they are tangent then they are really the same solution curve, meaning those two solutions aren't unique with respect to each other, you are really just stating the same one unique solution twice.

But how do you define that? The universe doesn't have X, Y and Z coordinates, what makes you think location in space affects anything at all? In a potentially infinite space, what is location? I don't think this affects the objects at all. When you consider multiple universes it becomes a whole lot more complicated though.
edit on 2-2-2013 by SpearMint because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 04:11 AM

Originally posted by SpearMint

A and B are irrelevant, like I said, all they are are aliased so we can actually understand the problem. Literally the only thing that matters is what they represent.

To you A and B are irrelevent because the mind sees a problem that it wants to understand and it wants to solve a problem when there is no problem.

The image of A is different from the image of B - it is not a problem. It is an observation of fact.

A does not represent anything but the image that is appearing. B does not represent anything but the image that it is appearing as.
edit on 2-2-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 04:17 AM

Originally posted by Itisnowagain

I think you should read the opening post and see what the post is saying. It is speaking about the appearance of a thing. It is not speaking about the 'value'.

No you misunderstand, the value is the object, A & B are merely something used to refer to the object, they don't come in to the problem at all, they are simply used to identify these objects (their values). The differences between the letters are completely irrelevant.

posted on Feb, 2 2013 @ 04:18 AM

Ok, let's wait until the op comes back and see if he/she can put us straight.
I don't see anything in the op which says anything about adding 'value' - maybe i am wrong, hopefully Wang Tang can clear this up.
edit on 2-2-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)

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