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By Eli Hirsch

The e-book as a complete tackles a cluster of imperative metaphysical matters in a continually transparent and cautious demeanour. additionally, Hirsch is pleasantly undogmatic and endeavors to offer reasonable remedy to these perspectives he ultimately rejects. His arguments for his personal conclusions are often all-the-more forceful for that. the normal of argument is excessive and Hirsch has whatever fascinating to assert on each subject he discusses.

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I want first to concentrate on this problem and then return to the residual complications afterwards. We know that continuity considerations by themselves do not suffice to rule out such aberrant paths as the one which combined stages of a tree with stages of a trunk, or the one which combined stages of a car with stages of car-parts. We want to elicit some additional constraint which can be seen as operating in our ordinary identity concept to rule out such paths. Now one intuition that we may have about such paths, and why they seem aberrant from the ordinary point of view, is that tracing these paths involves some kind of illicit shift, some kind of ruleviolating loss of constancy.

On the other hand, if it is made clear that the thing being referred to is a patch of brown, it does not seem clearly false to assert this. There may even be exceptional circumstances in which there would be a point in describing the situation in this way. Perhaps we should say that "patch of brown" is a borderline, or marginal, case of a sortal. " I bring up these borderline sortals primarily to guard against the error of construing the sortal rule as being perfectly exact. The truth, on the contrary, is that the rule, and the correlative notion of a sortal, can be no more exact than our ordinary concept of persistence.

It follows that the simple continuity analysis must be complicated at least to the extent of accommodating such cases. Actually these cases do not seem very central (standard, paradigmatic), and the complication which they introduce seems fairly superficial. Apparently the two continuity criteria mentioned in the analysis need to be supplemented by, what I will call (following Quinton),9 a compositional criterion. The compositional criterion would allow us to say that x is identical with y, even if the continuity criteria do not apply, so long as all (or perhaps most) of PC'S parts (or perhaps x's major parts) are identical with y's.

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