Wittgenstein on the Self-Identity of Objects

Cyrus Panjvani


According to Wittgenstein, self-identity is not a genuine relation that an object
bears to itself. That is, it is not trivially and universally true that an
object is identical to itself. This paper will employ the distinction between
nonsense and senselessness and explain why, according to Wittgenstein,
assertions of self-identity are nonsense. This implies that assertions of
self-identity cannot be used to refer to objects qua objects, and this has
philosophical consequences for, inter alia, Russell’s Axiom of Infinity and
Frege’s derivation of the natural numbers.


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; identity; mathematics; transcendental argument; object

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