Philosophy Word of the Day – Cambridge Change

king's college chapel, cambridge 1446-1515.

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“A thing changes in a sense associated with Russell (hence, at Cambridge) if it satisfies a description at one time that it does not satisfy at another.  However, some changes are ‘merely’ Cambridge changes: if you outgrow me, then I satisfy the description of being as tall as you at one time, and I do not satisfy the description at another.  So, by the Cambridge criterion, I have changed, but I need have undergone no robust or substantial change, for I may have stayed at exactly the same height.

“The term was introduced by P. T. Geach (Logic Matters, 1972); a possible application of the notion is to make the unchanging (substantial) nature of God compatible with his (merely Cambridge) changing relations to the temporal world.”

— Simon Blackburn, Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy (Oxford Univ. Press, 2008), 51.

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