What is the Law of Identity?
The second puzzle concerns the ‘Law of Identity’ which consists of so-called opaque contexts. Let’s start with an example sentence: ’Scott was the author of Waverley’. If we say ‘Scott was a man’ that is a sentence in the form ‘x was a man’ and it has ‘Scott’ for its subject. But if we say ‘the author of Waverley was a man’ that sentence does not have the form ‘x was a man’ as well as not having ‘the author of Waverley’ as its subject. The puzzle about George IV being curious is another thing that we have to mention here. When we say ‘George IV wished to know whether Scott was the author of Waverley’ we generally mean: ‘George IV wished to know whether one and only one man wrote Waverley and Scott was that man’ but we may also mean: ‘One and only one man wrote Waverley, and George IV wished to know whether Scott was that man’. In the first one, the author of Waverley has the primary event, in the final one that’s the secondary. Overall, it is not very difficult to see how this reflects Russell’s argument of how proper names and definite descriptions are very distinct also in terms of logical expressions.