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  1. Mereological Nihilism: Keeping It Simple.Simon D. Thunder - 2017 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 6 (4):278-287.
    (Mereological) nihilism states that there are no composite objects—there are only sub-atomic particles such as quarks. Nihilism’s biggest rival, (mereological) universalism, posits vast numbers of composite objects in addition to the sub-atomic particles, and so nihilism appears to be the more ontologically parsimonious of the two theories. If this is the case, it’s a significant result for the nihilist: ontological parsimony is almost always thought to be a theoretical virtue, so a nihilist victory in the parsimony stakes gives us a (...)
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  • Is Ontological Revisionism Uncharitable?Chris Daly & David Liggins - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (3):405-425.
    Some philosophers deny the existence of composite material objects. Other philosophers hold that whenever there are some things, they compose something. The purpose of this paper is to scrutinize an objection to these revisionary views: the objection that nihilism and universalism are both unacceptably uncharitable because each of them implies that a great deal of what we ordinarily believe is false. Our main business is to show how nihilism and universalism can be defended against the objection. A secondary point is (...)
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  • The Disappearance of Change: Towards a Process Account of Persistence.Anne Sophie Meincke - 2019 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 27 (1):12-30.
    This paper aims to motivate a new beginning in metaphysical thinking about persistence by drawing attention to the disappearance of change in current accounts of persistence. I defend the claim that the debate is stuck in a dilemma which results from neglecting the constructive role of change for persistence. Neither of the two main competing views, perdurantism and endurantism, captures the idea of persistence as an identity through time. I identify the fundamental ontological reasons for this, namely the shared commitment (...)
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  • Thoughts, Processive Character and the Stream of Consciousness.Marta Jorba - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (5):730-753.
    This paper explores the relation of thought and the stream of consciousness in the light of an ontological argument raised against cognitive phenomenology views. I argue that the ontological argument relies on a notion of ‘processive character’ that does not stand up to scrutiny and therefore it is insufficient for the argument to go through. I then analyse two more views on what ‘processive character’ means and argue that the process-part account best captures the intuition behind the argument. Following this (...)
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  • McTaggart and Indexing the Copula.Bradley Rettler - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 158 (3):431-434.
    In this paper, I show how a solution to Lewis’ problem of temporary intrinsics is also a response to McTaggart’s argument that the A-series is incoherent. There are three strategies Lewis considers for solving the problem of temporary intrinsics: perdurantism, presentism, and property-indexing. William Lane Craig (Analysis 58(2):122–127, 1998) has examined how the three strategies fare with respect to McTaggart’s argument. The only viable solution Lewis considers to the problem of temporary intrinsics that also succeeds against McTaggart, Craig claims, is (...)
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  • Travelling in Time: How to Wholly Exist in Two Places at the Same Time.Kristie Miller - 2006 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 36 (3):309-334.
    It is possible to wholly exist at multiple spatial locations at the same time. At least, if time travel is possible and objects endure, then such must be the case. To accommodate this possibility requires the introduction of a spatial analog of either relativising properties to times—relativising properties to spatial locations—or of relativising the manner of instantiation to times—relativising the manner of instantiation to spatial locations. It has been suggested, however, that introducing irreducibly spatially relativised or spatially adverbialised properties presents (...)
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  • From Models-as-Fictions to Models-as-Tools.Adrian Currie - 2017 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 4.
    Many accounts of scientific modeling conceive of models as fictions: scientists interact with models in ways analogous to various aesthetic objects. Fictionalists follow most other accounts of modeling by taking them to be revelatory of the actual world in virtue of bearing some resemblance relation to a target system. While such fictionalist accounts capture crucial aspects of modelling practice, they are ill-suited to some design and engineering contexts. Here, models sometimes serve to underwrite design projects whereby real-world targets are constructed. (...)
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  • Causal Powers and Social Ontology.Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - 2020 - Synthese 197 (3):1357-1377.
    Over the last few decades, philosophers and social scientists have applied the so-called powers ontology to the social domain. I argue that this application is highly problematic: many of the alleged powers in the social realm violate the intrinsicality condition, and those that can be coherently taken to be intrinsic to their bearers are arguably causally redundant. I end the paper by offering a diagnosis of why philosophers and social scientists have been tempted to think that there are powers in (...)
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  • The Razor Argument of Metaphysics A.9.José Edgar González-Varela - 2018 - Phronesis 63 (4):408-448.
    I discuss Aristotle’s opening argument against Platonic Forms in _Metaphysics_ A.9, ‘the Razor’, which criticizes the introduction of Forms on the basis of an analogy with a hypothetical case of counting things. I argue for a new interpretation of this argument, and show that it involves two interesting objections against the introduction of Forms as formal causes: one concerns the completeness and the other the adequacy of such an explanatory project.
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  • On What Grounds What.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - In David Manley, David J. Chalmers & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 347-383.
    On the now dominant Quinean view, metaphysics is about what there is. Metaphysics so conceived is concerned with such questions as whether properties exist, whether meanings exist, and whether numbers exist. I will argue for the revival of a more traditional Aristotelian view, on which metaphysics is about what grounds what. Metaphysics so revived does not bother asking whether properties, meanings, and numbers exist (of course they do!) The question is whether or not they are fundamental.
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  • Should We Reject Supervenience Analyses of Laws, Chance, and Causation?Lyle Zynda - 1996 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 27 (4):587-592.
    Essay review of John Carroll's book, _Laws of Nature_.
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  • Binding Bound Variables in Epistemic Contexts.Brian Rabern - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-31.
    Quine insisted that the satisfaction of an open modalised formula by an object depends on how that object is described. Kripke’s "objectual" interpretation of quantified modal logic, whereby variables are rigid, is commonly thought to avoid these Quinean worries. Yet there remain residual Quinean worries in the epistemic case. Theorists have recently been toying with assignment-shifting treatments of epistemic contexts. On such views an epistemic operator ends up binding all the variables in its scope. One might worry that this yields (...)
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  • Quantum Metaphysical Indeterminacy and Worldly Incompleteness.Alessandro Torza - 2017 - Synthese:1-14.
    An influential theory has it that metaphysical indeterminacy occurs just when reality can be made completely precise in multiple ways. That characterization is formulated by employing the modal apparatus of ersatz possible worlds. As quantum physics taught us, reality cannot be made completely precise. I meet the challenge by providing an alternative theory which preserves the use of ersatz worlds but rejects the precisificational view of metaphysical indeterminacy. The upshot of the proposed theory is that it is metaphysically indeterminate whether (...)
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  • The Subtraction Argument(S).Alexander Paseau - 2006 - Dialectica 60 (2):145-156.
    The subtraction argument aims to show that there is an empty world, in the sense of a possible world with no concrete objects. The argument has been endorsed by several philosophers. I show that there are currently two versions of the argument around, and that only one of them is valid. I then sketch the main problem for the valid version of the argument.
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  • Are Fictional Characters and Literary Works Ontologically on a Par?Ioan-Radu Motoarcă - 2016 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (4):596-611.
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  • Modality is Not Explainable by Essence.Carlos Romero - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (274):121-141.
    Some metaphysicians believe that metaphysical modality is explainable by the essences of objects. In §II, I spell out the definitional view of essence, and in §III, a working notion of metaphysical explanation. Then, in §IV, I consider and reject five natural ways to explain necessity by essence: in terms of the principle that essential properties can't change, in terms of the supposed obviousness of the necessity of essential truth, in terms of the logical necessity of definitions, in terms of Fine's (...)
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  • Grounding, Essence, And Identity.Fabrice Correia & Alexander Skiles - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (3):642-670.
    Recent metaphysics has turned its focus to two notions that are—as well as having a common Aristotelian pedigree—widely thought to be intimately related: grounding and essence. Yet how, exactly, the two are related remains opaque. We develop a unified and uniform account of grounding and essence, one which understands them both in terms of a generalized notion of identity examined in recent work by Fabrice Correia, Cian Dorr, Agustín Rayo, and others. We argue that the account comports with antecedently plausible (...)
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  • Knowing How Things Might Have Been.Mark Jago - 2018 - Synthese:1-19.
    I know that I could have been where you are right now and that you could have been where I am right now, but that neither of us could have been turnips or natural numbers. This knowledge of metaphysical modality stands in need of explanation. I will offer an account based on our knowledge of the natures, or essencess, of things. I will argue that essences need not be viewed as metaphysically bizarre entities; that we can conceptualise and refer to (...)
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  • Modal Realism, Still at Your Convenience.Harold Noonan & Mark Jago - 2017 - Analysis 77 (2):299-303.
    Divers presents a set of de re modal truths which, he claims, are inconvenient for Lewisean modal realism. We argue that there is no inconvenience for Lewis.
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  • Modal Realism, Still At Your Convenience.Mark Jago & Harold Noonan - 2016 - Analysis:anx037.
    Divers (2014) presents a set of de re modal truths which, he claims, are inconvenient for Lewisean modal realism. We argue that there is no inconvenience for Lewis.
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  • The Metaphysics of Invariance.David Schroeren - manuscript
    Fundamental physics contains an important link between properties of elementary particles and continuous symmetries of particle systems. For example, properties such as mass and spin are said to be 'associated' with specific continuous symmetries. -/- These 'associations' have played a key role in the discovery of various new particle kinds, but more importantly: they are thought to provide a deep insight into the nature of physical reality. The link between properties and symmetries has been said to call for a radical (...)
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  • Material Objects and Essential Bundle Theory.Stephen Barker & Mark Jago - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (12):2969-2986.
    In this paper we present a new metaphysical theory of material objects. On our theory, objects are bundles of property instances, where those properties give the nature or essence of that object. We call the theory essential bundle theory. Property possession is not analysed as bundle-membership, as in traditional bundle theories, since accidental properties are not included in the object’s bundle. We have a different story to tell about accidental property possession. This move reaps many benefits. Essential bundle theory delivers (...)
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  • Object Persistence in Philosophy and Psychology.Brian J. Scholl - 2007 - Mind and Language 22 (5):563–591.
    What makes an object the same persisting individual over time? Philosophers and psychologists have both grappled with this question, but from different perspectives—philosophers conceptually analyzing the criteria for object persistence, and psychologists exploring the mental mechanisms that lead us to experience the world in terms of persisting objects. It is striking that the same themes populate explorations of persistence in these two very different fields—e.g. the roles of spatiotemporal continuity, persistence through property change, and cohesion violations. Such similarities may reflect (...)
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  • Parthood.Theodore Sider - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (1):51-91.
    There will be a few themes. One to get us going: expansion versus contraction. About an object, o, and the region, R, of space(time) in which o is exactly located,1 we may ask: i) must there exist expansions of o: objects in filled superregions2 of R? ii) must there exist contractions of o: objects in filled subregions of..
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  • Spacetime the One Substance.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 145 (1):131 - 148.
    What is the relation between material objects and spacetime regions? Supposing that spacetime regions are one sort of substance, there remains the question of whether or not material objects are a second sort of substance. This is the question of dualistic versus monistic substantivalism. I will defend the monistic view. In particular, I will maintain that material objects should be identified with spacetime regions. There is the spacetime manifold, and the fundamental properties are pinned directly to it.
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  • Defending Contingentism in Metaphysics.Kristie Miller - 2009 - Dialectica 63 (1):23-49.
    Metaphysics is supposed to tell us about the metaphysical nature of our world: under what conditions composition occurs; how objects persist through time; whether properties are universals or tropes. It is near orthodoxy that whichever of these sorts of metaphysical claims is true is necessarily true. This paper looks at the debate between that orthodox view and a recently emerging view that claims like these are contingent, by focusing on the metaphysical debate between monists and pluralists about concrete particulars. This (...)
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  • In Defense of the Simplest Quantified Modal Logic.Bernard Linsky & Edward N. Zalta - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8:431-458.
    The simplest quantified modal logic combines classical quantification theory with the propositional modal logic K. The models of simple QML relativize predication to possible worlds and treat the quantifier as ranging over a single fixed domain of objects. But this simple QML has features that are objectionable to actualists. By contrast, Kripke-models, with their varying domains and restricted quantifiers, seem to eliminate these features. But in fact, Kripke-models also have features to which actualists object. Though these philosophers have introduced variations (...)
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  • No-Futurism and Metaphysical Contingentism.Baptiste Le Bihan - 2014 - Axiomathes 24 (4):483-497.
    According to no-futurism, past and present entities are real, but future ones are not. This view faces a skeptical challenge (Bourne 2002, 2006, Braddon-Mitchell, 2004): if no-futurism is true, how do you know you are present? I shall propose a new skeptical argument based on the physical possibility of Gödelian worlds (1949). This argument shows that a no-futurist has to endorse a metaphysical contingentist reading of no-futurism, the view that no-futurism is contingently true. But then, the no-futurist has to face (...)
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  • Naming the Stages.Achille C. Varzi - 2003 - Dialectica 57 (4):387-412.
    Standard lore has it that a proper name, or a definite description on its de re reading, is a temporally rigid designator. It picks out the same entity at every time at which it picks out an entity at all. If the entity in question is an enduring continuant then we know what this means, though we are also stuck with a host of metaphysical puzzles concerning endurance itself. If the entity in question is a perdurant then the rigidity claim (...)
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  • Change, Temporal Parts, and the Argument From Vagueness.Achille C. Varzi - 2005 - Dialectica 59 (4):485-498.
    The so‐called ‘argument from vagueness’ is among the most powerful and innovative arguments offered in support of the view that objects are four‐dimensional perdurants. The argument is defective – I submit – and in a number of ways that are worth looking into. But each ‘defect’, each gap in the argument, corresponds to a model of change that is independently problematic and that can hardly be built into the common‐sense picture of the world. So once all the gaps of the (...)
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  • Are The Statue and The Clay Mutual Parts?Lee Walters - 2017 - Noûs:23-50.
    Are a material object, such as a statue, and its constituting matter, the clay, parts of one another? One wouldn't have thought so, and yet a number of philosophers have argued that they are. I review the arguments for this surprising claim showing how they all fail. I then consider two arguments against the view concluding that there are both pre-theoretical and theoretical considerations for denying that the statue and the clay are mutual parts.
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  • The Argument From Temporary Intrinsics.Ryan Wasserman - 2003 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (3):413 – 419.
    The problem of temporary intrinsics is the problem of how persisting objects can have different intrinsic properties at different times. The relativizer responds to this problem by replacing ordinary intrinsic properties with relations to times. In this note, I identify and respond to three different objections to the relativizer's proposal, each of which can be traced to the work of David Lewis.
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  • Phenomenal Experience and the Metaphysics of Persistence.Michael Traynor - 2014 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 114 (3pt3):381-388.
    I will adapt part of an argument in Prosser to the case of persistence, to conclude that our experience does not favour any particular theory of persistence—our immediate experience cannot rightly be considered as evidence in this context. Even if it does in fact seem that objects persist by enduring, this cannot be because they do in fact endure; and if things do in fact persist by perduring, this should not be considered to be in spite of appearances. Thus any (...)
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  • The Supervenience Solution to the Too-Many-Thinkers Problem.C. S. Sutton - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (257):619-639.
    Persons think. Bodies, time-slices of persons, and brains might also think. They have the necessary neural equipment. Thus, there seems to be more than one thinker in your chair. Critics assert that this is too many thinkers and that we should reject ontologies that allow more than one thinker in your chair. I argue that cases of multiple thinkers are innocuous and that there is not too much thinking. Rather, the thinking shared between, for example, persons and their bodies is (...)
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  • Temporal Parts.Theodore Sider - 2007 - In Theodore Sider, John Hawthorne & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics. Blackwell. pp. 241--262.
    An introduction to temporal parts theory. Most of us believe in spatial parts: hands are spatial parts of people, an electron is a spatial part of a hydrogen atom, the earth is a spatial part of the solar system. Why are these parts "spatial" parts? Because they are spatially smaller: the hand is spatially smaller than the person, the electron is spatially smaller than the atom, the earth is spatially smaller than the solar system. Temporal parts, then, are parts that (...)
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  • Persistence and Properties.Sydney Shoemaker - 2015 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (3):433--448.
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  • There is No Puzzle About Change.Pablo Rychter - 2009 - Dialectica 63 (1):7-22.
    This paper argues against the common practice of presenting perdurantism, endurantism, and other views about persistence and time as solutions to an alleged puzzle about change. Various recent attempts to generate a puzzle about change are examined and found unsuccessful. This does not mean, however, that the relevant views about persistence and time are not well motivated, but rather that their interest and purpose is independent of their suitability for solving the alleged puzzle.
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  • Why Does Time Seem to Pass?Simon Prosser - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (1):92-116.
    According to the B-theory, the passage of time is an illusion. The B-theory therefore requires an explanation of this illusion before it can be regarded as fullysatisfactory; yet very few B-theorists have taken up the challenge of trying to provide one. In this paper I take some first steps toward such an explanation by first making a methodological proposal, then a hypothesis about a key element in the phenomenology of temporal passage. The methodological proposal focuses onthe representational content of the (...)
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  • Coincidence as Overlap.L. A. Paul - 2006 - Noûs 40 (4):623–659.
    I discuss puzzles involving coinciding material objects (such as statues and their constitutive lumps of clay) and propose solutions.
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  • What is a Fourdimensionalist to Do About Temporally Extended Properties?Katarina Perovic - 2019 - European Journal of Philosophy 27 (2):441-452.
    European Journal of Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  • Do Quantum Objects Have Temporal Parts?Thomas Pashby - unknown
    This paper provides a new context for an established metaphysical debate regarding the problem of persistence. I contend that perdurance can be precisely formulated in quantum mechanics due to an analogy with spatial parts, which I claim correspond to the decomposition of the quantum state provided by a localization scheme. However, I present a `no-go' result that rules out the existence of an analogous temporal localization scheme, and so argue that quantum objects cannot be said to perdure. I conclude by (...)
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  • Temporal Parts and Timeless Parthood.Eric Olson - 2006 - Noûs 40 (4):738–752.
    What is a temporal part? Most accounts explain it in terms of timeless parthood: a thing's having a part without temporal qualification. Some find this hard to understand, and thus find the view that persisting things have temporal parts--fourdimensionalism--unintelligible. T. Sider offers to help by defining temporal parthood in terms of a thing's having a part at a time. I argue that no such account can capture the notion of a temporal part that figures in orthodox four-dimensionalism: temporal parts must (...)
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  • Vagueness, Multiplicity and Parts.Daniel Nolan - 2006 - Noûs 40 (4):716–737.
    There’s an argument around from so-called “linguistic theories of vagueness”, plus some relatively uncontroversial considerations, to powerful metaphysical conclusions. David Lewis employs this argument to support the mereological principle of unrestricted composition, and Theodore Sider employs a similar argument not just for unrestricted composition but also for the doctrine of temporal parts. This sort of argument could be generalised, to produce a lot of other less palatable metaphysical conclusions. However, arguments to Lewis’s and Sider’s conclusions on the basis of considerations (...)
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  • Endurance and Indiscernibility.Trenton Merricks - 1994 - Journal of Philosophy 91 (4):165-184.
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  • On the Incompatibility of Enduring and Perduring Entities.Trenton Merricks - 1995 - Mind 104 (415):521-531.
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  • The 3d/4d Controversy: A Storm in a Teacup.Storrs McCall & E. J. Lowe - 2006 - Noûs 40 (3):570–578.
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  • Vagueness and Endurance.E. J. Lowe - 2005 - Analysis 65 (2):104-112.
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  • Stage Theory and the Personite Problem.Alex Kaiserman - 2019 - Analysis 79 (2):215-222.
    Mark Johnston has recently argued that four-dimensionalist theories of persistence are incompatible with some of our most basic ethical and prudential principles. I argue that although Johnston’s arguments succeed on a worm-theoretic account of persistence, they fail on a stage-theoretic account. So much the worse, I conclude, for the worm theory.
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  • Fragmentalist Presentist Perdurantism.Samuele Iaquinto - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (3):693-703.
    Perdurantists think of continuants as mereological sums of stages from different times. This view of persistence would force us to drop the idea that there is genuine change in the world. By exploiting a presentist metaphysics, Brogaard proposed a theory, called presentist four-dimensionalism, that aims to reconcile perdurantism with the idea that things undergo real change. However, her proposal commits us to reject the idea that stages must exist in their entirety. Giving up the tenet that all the stages are (...)
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  • The Meta-Problem of Change.Thomas Hofweber - 2009 - Noûs 43 (2):286 - 314.
    The problem of change plays a central role in the metaphysics of time and material objects, and whoever does best in solving this problem has a leg up when it comes to choosing a metaphysics of time and material objects. But whether this central role of the problem of change in metaphysics is legitimate is not at all clear. This is so in part since it is not clear what the problem of change is, and why it is a problem (...)
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