Date of Award

Spring 2004

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

South, James

Second Advisor

Teske, Roland

Third Advisor

Anderson, Thomas


The Problem of Individuality: Philosophical and Historical Context Joshua Hoffman and Gary S. Rosenkrantz have noted in a series of recent publications that there is a commonsense or 'folk' ontology that recognizes familiar objects encountered in sense experience, such as people, rocks, flowers, and so forth, as enduring individual entities. This scheme would seem to suggest that individuality is an integral, and familiar, aspect of the world. Yet the history of Western philosophy has proven that no matter how close individuality might be to our experience, it does not lend itself to easy philosophical analysis. The notion of individuality plays a key role in Western metaphysical reflection, and this surely accounts at least in part for the popularity of the aforementioned folk ontology. But as Gracia points out, philosophical discussions of individuality have often left much to be desired, and there are a plethora of related issues that either have not been addressed at all or have only been addressed in a cursory or inadequate manner...



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