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David Wiggins

Born on this day — a true gentleman in every sense. If ever Wiggins was miffed that I preferred to talk to him about his metaphysics rather than his ethics, he never let on. Sameness and Substance Renewed (2001) and its two precursors, 1967’s Identity and Spatio-Temporal Continuity and 1980’s Sameness and Substance, jointly remain one of my favourite reads. See discussion of…

Walker Percy Wednesday 176

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SYMBOLIC ASSERTION AND A SPACE-TIME EVENT If one examines the characteristic moments of the scientific method, one will discover that they are basically assertions. Even if one happens to be an operationalist and maintains that the business of science is defining the physical operations by which concepts are arrived at and…

Identity, Individuation and Substance

After a long break from writing on metaphysics the wonderful David Wiggins has a freely available paper published in the European Journal of Philosophy. Sameness and Substance remains one of the most satisfying  (and most difficult) reads I’ve ever experienced. Forty four years ago I published a short monograph called Identity and Spatio-Temporal Continuity, henceforth ISTC…

Performance

Though it’s going on 40 years since Performance was made (1968, released in 1970) it is still the most modern of films with “adult themes” (philosophical and otherwise) from an age when films weren’t primarily made for fuckwits. The themes of social, sexual and gender identity make the fuss being made about these issues now seem so tired…

A Mistrustful Animal: An Interview with Bernard Williams

THE HARVARD REVIEW OF PHILOSOPHY vol.XII no.1 I particularly learned from his criticism of dividing philosophy into what he called ‘isms’ and schools of philosophy. He believed there were many philosophical questions and ways of arguing about them, but that attaching labels like ‘physicalism’ or ‘idealism’ to any particular way of answering philosophical questions was…