Dale Tuggy

Dale Tuggy is Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Fredonia, where he teaches courses in analytic theology, philosophy of religion, religious studies, and the history of philosophy.

6 Comments

  1. Miguel de Servet
    February 20, 2015 @ 2:24 pm

    Bagley the driver is a separate party from Bagley the estate representative

    It is not said how exactly the insurance contract is formulated, but, presumably, it is in the name of Barbara Bagley (or in the joint name of Barbara and her late husband Bradley), and it covers her civil responsibility, in consequence of herself (or perhaps also someone else) driving the car covered by the insurance. In any case, unless the subscriber to the insurance policy is a corporate person, but Barbara Bagley herself (the physical person), the policy covers the responsibility of Barbara Bagley, and I don’t see how Barbara Bagley can be split in two “parties”. Besides, if the distinction was accepted, there would need to be distinguished not just 2 but even 3 parties: driver (whose responsibility would be covered by the insurance), estate representative (who inherited the responsibility, covered by subscribing to the insurance), but also wife of the deceased who has been damaged.

    • Dale Tuggy
      February 21, 2015 @ 4:48 pm

      ” I don’t see how Barbara Bagley can be split in two “parties”.”
      Yeah, me neither.

      For the record, I don’t think there is such a thing as relative identity (I mean, which isn’t analyzable in terms of “absolute” identity).

      So, really, theology is of no help at all to the defendant/plaintiff. It could help the lawyer in confusing the matter, though. 🙂

      • Miguel de Servet
        February 22, 2015 @ 2:49 pm

        For the record, I don’t think there is such a thing as relative identity (I mean, which isn’t analyzable in terms of “absolute” identity).

        I used to think the same: no such thing as RI. In fact, bearing in mind that relative is the opposite of absolute, I used to think that the expression “relative identity” was nothing but an oxymoron.

        Unfortunately for Aristotle and also for Leibniz (and others), without Relative Identity (essentially, the claim that it can and does happen that x and y are the same G and yet x and y are
        not the same F – see SEP > Relative Identity > 3. Relative Identity), there are serious problems even with the most simple of statements.

        Consider this simple example. Let,

        x = this acorn
        y = this oak tree
        G = genetic makeup
        F = morphology

        With RI we can legitimately (and most satisfactorily) say:

        [RIao] “This acorn and this oak tree are the same genetic makeup and yet this acorn and this oak tree are not the same morphology.”

        Without RI, we simply cannot …

        Please spare us all the pettiness of affirming that, in proper English, we would normally say, “have the same genetic makeup/ morphology” …

        … but, if you feel like ignoring my advice, then enjoy this:

        [RIao1] “This acorn and this oak tree are genetically identical and yet this acorn and this oak tree are not morphologically identical.”

        • Dale Tuggy
          February 22, 2015 @ 9:04 pm

          “I used to think the same”

          You still should. Your predicates F and G above are not sortals. There is no problem in two things being the same in genetic makeup and different in morphology, or vice versa. But there is a problem with two things being, e.g. the same king and different men, or different plants but the same tree. Dr. Baber briefly talks about this in her talk: http://trinities.org/blog/podcast-episode-68-dr-harriet-baber-on-relative-identity-and-the-trinity/ Here’s the issue in all its gruesome, technical glory: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/sortals/

          “[RIao1] “This acorn and this oak tree are genetically identical and yet this acorn and this oak tree are not morphologically identical.”

          I think this is attempt at comedy… but anyway, there is no problem with it – I mean, it doesn’t require a basic concept of relative identity. It concerns qualitative sameness,not numerical sameness; it says that the acorn and oak are the same in one way, and yet different in another way.

          To clarify one other thing, the majority of philosophers believe in such relations as “same man as” or “same king as” – which you can call relative identity relations. But we just think that they should be understood in terms of qualitative predication plus “absolute” identity. To take the last case, “x is the same king as y” just means that x is a king, that y is a king, and that x=y – that x and y are numerically one. e.g. King James I and King Jimmy