"Tat tvam asi": An Important Identity Statement or a Mere Tautology
Before one can reasonably investigate the question of whether two things are identical, it stands to reason that one must have a clear understanding not only of what counts as a thing but, even more importantly, of what it means for two things to be identical. The question of the nature of identity is indeed a perplexing one, and has served as a starting point for much recent philosophical investigations. It drove Frege to make the distinction between sense and reference,1 has been a central factor in much of Quine's ontological analysis, and recently has played a central role in Butchvarov's protometaphysical Being Qua Being.
Philosophy East and West Vol. 34, No. 1 (Jan., 1984), pp. 85-94