Nuances of Language: same and identical
Definitions of identical
similar or alike in every way
numerically identical: being one and the same individual. Tully and Cicero are identical.
quantitaively identical: exactly alike, equal, or agreeing.
Definitions of same
being one or identical though having different names. Tully and Cicero are the same person.
being of equal value, amount. These boxes have the same dimensions.
having matching characteristics. Both of these shirts are the same color.
Both "identical" and "same" can be used to describe one object that has two different names.
Identical can also be used to describe two objects that are "exactly alike, equal, or agreeing."
Same is not used to describe two objects that are equal, it is used to describe specific properties and characteristics of two objects that are equal.
It makes sense to say these shirts have the same color, but it is nonsensical to say these shirts are the same. When saying two things are the same,
you are implying they are the same in some way
. However, you can say two objects as a whole are identical... so I see "identical" and "same" to
be two manifestations of the same concept, equality. Identity is an extension to the meaning of "same." The difference is "same" is more fit to be
used in everyday language while "identical" is more of a theoretical concept.
I see identity as one of those a priori concepts that we know and understand, but can't fully explain. Using language we can coin definitions that
point people in the direction of the true concept of identity, but no linguical definition of identity can truly explain identity. The only way to
understand identity is through yourself.
We can concieve of two objects having the same properties, but can we concieve of two objects being identical?
Thought Experiment: Mirror Universes
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. The universe acts out all possible courses of
action using what I call branching universes. Universe B and C are mirror universes. Universe B&C are parallel universes with universe D.
OBJ A = OBJ B
OBJ A = OBJ C
OBJ A = OBJ D
OBJ B = OBJ C?
OBJ C = OBJ D?
Our logical language struggles with the concept of identity... I believe it is impossible to prove two objects to be identical because our logical
language is too limited. However, I think I can prove it using a hypothetical situation.
Can 2 Objects be Identical: I think Yes
This question is somewhat ambiguous. Am I dealing with impercievable forms (like Plato's realm of forms), or solely with our perception of objects
(empirical reality)? I think objects can be identical with regards to both.
Disclaimer: I am dealing entirely in the realm of possibility here, I am not proposing my belief of what reality is, but what it may be.
Realm of Forms
We know nothing of how a realm of forms operates, so it is useless for us to claim it works this way or it works that way. Since we don't know how a
realm of forms would operate, we can't prove that two forms can't be identical... so it follows that there is a possibility that two forms can be
Wittgenstein says "space, time, and color are forms of objects" (Tractatus 2.0251), and I'll buy that. If we accept this claim, for two objects to
have equal relational identities, the objects' surroundings must be the same distance away, the same color, and exist at the same time.
Let's accept the existence of two mirror universes. A subject is attempting to prove that two spheres in mirror universes can be identical. In the
mirror universes, the spheres have the same relational identities. The subject would be constrained by the fact that he can only percieve one of the
two objects at once because they both exist in the same spot.
You also have to consider that if there are two objects, there are two subjects since they are in mirror universes. If you tell the subject to
percieve the sphere, you are telling both versions of the subject. That brings up the question, which subject is the test subject? Is there a real
subject and a mirror subject? No, both subjects would be equally real. This means the two subjects are both percieving the same sphere at the same
place at the same time, and both of their perceptions are equally valid.
That means just by percieving one object, the subject is actually performing the act of percieving two objects by two subjects. Just by simply
percieving the object, the subject has proven that the spheres are identical.
Physicalists in Philosophy of Mind say if all physical aspects of humans are equal, their mental states will also be equal. In other words, mental
states are a product of the physical world. So by proving that two objects may be physically identical, I am also saying this would result in them
being mentally identical.
The identity of an object is made up of intrinsic and extrinsic properties.
An intrinsic identity:
OBJ B(A) - This is saying OBJ B used to be known as OBJ A.
An extrinsic identity:
OBJ B(A) is a red sphere.
I don't know if any of this is what you're looking for, I just threw everything I've got on identity at you in hopes that it'll be useful. I'm no
expert on identity and I'm not too well read on it but I have thought and speculated a lot about it.
edit on 21-2-2013 by Wang Tang because: above top secret
edit on 21-2-2013 by Wang Tang because: above top
edit on 21-2-2013 by Wang Tang because: above top secret