Tag Archives: what is identity in philosophy

What Does it Mean to Violate Identity, Philosophically Speaking?

The violation of identity is the assertion that an object (a material concept, like “shoe”) or an idea (an abstract concept, like “left”) is or does two or more mutually exclusive things. Examples of this are:

“You cannot separate the individual from his community.”

An individual cannot also be the group. This assertion violates the identity of both the individual and the group, because it attempts to synthesize the antonym into each. Therefore, this assertion is entirely false.

“An effect is the direct function of the cause.”

This is interesting. It’s what I call a false corollary. It is an attempt to synthesize¬†these two mutually exclusive abstractions into a singularity–“Cause and Effect”, which is then often asserted to be a natural governing force…or a physical “law”, as it were. What really happens by inseparably combining the one with the other is that both are nullified. So instead of summing to 1, as in, say, “Ability and Action”, which is a true corollary, the relationship sums to zero. So, the assertion that “Cause and Effect” is monolithic (summing to 1) is really nothing more than the violation of the identity of both abstract concepts. If “cause” equals “effect” then there is, in actuality, no such thing as either.

“Cause and Effect” then should always be rendered “Cause” and “Effect”. Because they are two completely distinct concepts; which, among others, man uses to describe a particular manifestation of the relative movement of objects he observes in his environment.

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