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Four-dimensionalism

Philosophical Review 106 (2):197-231 (1997)

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  1. The Relation Between Subjects and Their Conscious Experiences.Henry Taylor - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (11):3493-3507.
    One of the most poorly understood features of consciousness is the relation between an experience and the subject of the experience. In this paper, I develop an ontology of consciousness on which experiences are events constituted by substances having properties at times. I use this to explain the relation between a subject and her experience.
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  • The Nature of Appearance in Kant’s Transcendentalism: A Seman- Tico-Cognitive Analysis.Sergey L. Katrechko - 2018 - Kantian Journal 37 (3):41-55.
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  • Spatial Experience and Special Relativity.Brian Cutter - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (9):2297-2313.
    In recent work, David Chalmers argues that “Edenic shapes”—roughly, the shape properties phenomenally presented in spatial experience—are not instantiated in our world. His reasons come largely from the theory of Special Relativity. Although Edenic shapes might have been instantiated in a classical Newtonian world, he maintains that they could not be instantiated in a relativistic world like our own. In this essay, I defend realism about Edenic shape, the thesis that Edenic shapes are instantiated in our world, against Chalmers’s challenge (...)
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  • The Constitution Relation and Baker’s Account of It.Marta Campdelacreu - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (1):1-19.
    A traditional argument based on Leibniz’s Law concludes that, for example, a statue and the piece of marble of which it is made are two different objects. This is because they have different properties: the statue can survive the loss of some of its parts but the piece of marble cannot. Lynne Rudder Baker adds that the piece of marble constitutes the statue. In this paper I focus on what I think is the most powerful objection to Baker’s account of (...)
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  • Duration Enough for Presentism.Robert E. Pezet - 2020 - Axiomathes 30 (4):391-421.
    This paper considers a problem for dynamic presentism that has received little attention: its apparent inability to accommodate the duration of events. After outlining the problem, I defend presentism from it. This defence proceeds in two stages. First, I argue the objection rests on a faulty assumption: that duration is temporal extension. The paper challenges that assumption on several different ways of conceiving of temporal extension. This is the negative case and forms the bulk of the paper. Second, after diagnosing (...)
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  • The Termination Thesis.Fred Feldman - 2000 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 24 (1):98–115.
    The Termination Thesis (or “TT”) is the view that people go out of existence when they die. Lots of philosophers seem to believe it. Epicurus, for example, apparently makes use of TT in his efforts to show that it is irrational to fear death. He says, “as long as we exist, death is not with us; but when death comes, then we do not exist.”1 Lucretius says pretty much the same thing, but in many more words and more poetically: “Death (...)
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  • Sideways Music.Ned Markosian - 2019 - Analysis (1):anz039.
    There is a popular theory in the metaphysics of time according to which time is one of four similar dimensions that make up a single manifold that is appropriately called spacetime. One consequence of this thesis is that changing an object’s orientation in the manifold does not change its intrinsic features. In this paper I offer a new argument against this popular theory. I claim that an especially good performance of a particularly beautiful piece of music, when oriented within the (...)
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  • Temporal Parity and the Problem of Change.Rögnvaldur Ingthorsson - 2001 - SATS 2 (2):60-79.
    I discuss the general form of arguments that profess to prove that the view that things endure in tensed time through causally produced change (the dynamic view) must be false because it involves contradictions. I argue that these arguments implicitly presuppose what has been called the temporal parity thesis, i.e. that all moments of time are equally existent and real, and that this thesis must be understood as the denial of the dynamic view. When this implicit premise is made explicit, (...)
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  • A Dilemma for the Soul Theory of Personal Identity.Jacob Berger - 2018 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 83 (1):41-55.
    The problem of diachronic personal identity is this: what explains why a person P1 at time T1 is numerically identical with a person P2 at a later time T2, even if they are not at those times qualitatively identical? One traditional explanation is the soul theory, according to which persons persist in virtue of their nonphysical souls. I argue here that this view faces a new and arguably insuperable dilemma: either souls, like physical bodies, change over time, in which case (...)
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  • B-Theory and Time Biases.Sayid Bnefsi - 2019 - In Patrick Blackburn, Per Hasle & Peter Øhrstrøm (eds.), Logic and Philosophy of Time: Further Themes from Prior. Aalborg, Denmark: Aalborg University Press. pp. 41-52.
    We care not only about what experiences we have, but when we have them too. However, on the B-theory of time, something’s timing isn’t an intrinsic way for that thing to be or become. Given B-theory, should we be rationally indifferent about the timing per se of an experience? In this paper, I argue that B-theorists can justify time-biased preferences for pains to be past rather than present and for pleasures to be present rather than past. In support of this (...)
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  • Realism, Truthmakers, and Language: A Study in Meta-Ontology and the Relationship Between Language and Metaphysics.J. T. M. Miller - 2014 - Dissertation, Durham University
    Metaphysics has had a long history of debate over its viability, and substantivity. This thesis explores issues connected to the realism question within the domain of metaphysics, ultimately aiming to defend a realist, substantive metaphysics by responding to so-called deflationary approaches, which have become prominent, and well supported within the recent metametaphysical and metaontological literature. To this end, I begin by examining the changing nature of the realism question. I argue that characterising realism and anti-realism through theories of truth unduly (...)
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  • I—What is a Continuant?Helen Steward - 2015 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 89 (1):109-123.
    In this paper, I explore the question what a continuant is, in the context of a very interesting suggestion recently made by Rowland Stout, as part of his attempt to develop a coherent ontology of processes. Stout claims that a continuant is best thought of as something that primarily has its properties at times, rather than atemporally—and that on this construal, processes should count as continuants. While accepting that Stout is onto something here, I reject his suggestion that we should (...)
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  • Conservatism, Counterexamples and Debunking.Daniel Z. Korman - 2020 - Analysis 80 (3):558-574.
    A symposium on my *Objects: Nothing Out of the Ordinary* (2015). In response to Wallace, I attempt to clarify the dialectical and epistemic role that my arguments from counterexamples were meant to play, I provide a limited defense of the comparison to the Gettier examples, and I embrace the comparison to Moorean anti-skeptical arguments. In response to deRosset, I provide a clearer formulation of conservatism, explain how a conservative should think about the interaction between intuition and science, and discuss what (...)
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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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  • 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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  • The Metaphysical Equivalence Of Three And Four Dimensionalism.Kristie Miller - 2005 - Erkenntnis 62 (1):91-117.
    I argue that two competing accounts of persistence, three and four dimensionalism, are in fact metaphysically equivalent. I begin by clearly defining three and four dimensionalism, and then I show that the two theories are intertranslatable and equally simple. Through consideration of a number of different cases where intuitions about persistence are contradictory, I then go on to show that both theories describe these cases in the same manner. Further consideration of some empirical issues arising from the theory of special (...)
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  • Building Enduring Objects Out of Spacetime.Cody Gilmore - 2014 - In Claudio Calosi & Pierluigi Graziani (eds.), Mereology and the Sciences: Parts and Wholes in the Contemporary Scientific Context. Springer. pp. 5-34.
    Endurantism, the view that material objects are wholly present at each moment of their careers, is under threat from supersubstantivalism, the view that material objects are identical to spacetime regions. I discuss three compromise positions. They are alike in that they all take material objects to be composed of spacetime points or regions without being identical to any such point or region. They differ in whether they permit multilocation and in whether they generate cases of mereologically coincident entities.
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  • Composition as Identity: A Study in Ontology and Philosophical Logic.Einar Bohn - unknown
    In this work I first develop, motivate, and defend the view that mereological composition, the relation between an object and all its parts collectively, is a relation of identity. I argue that this view implies and hence can explain the logical necessity of classical mereology, the formal study of the part-whole relation. I then critically discuss four contemporary views of the same kind. Finally, I employ my thesis in a recent discussion of whether the world is fundamentally one in number.
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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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  • Humean Supervenience and Personal Identity.Ryan Wasserman - 2005 - Philosophical Quarterly 55 (221):582-593.
    Humeans hold that the nomological features of our world, including causal facts, are determined by the global distribution of fundamental properties. Since persistence presupposes causation, it follows that facts about personal identity are also globally determined. I argue that this is unacceptable for a number of reasons, and that the doctrine of Humean supervenience should therefore be rejected.
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  • Promiscuous Endurantism and Diachronic Vagueness.Achille Varzi - 2007 - American Philosophical Quarterly 44 (2):181-189.
    According to a popular line of reasoning, diachronic vagueness creates a problem for the endurantist conception of persistence. Some authors have replied that this line of reasoning is inconclusive, since the endurantist can subscribe to a principle of Diachronic Unrestricted Composition (DUC) that is perfectly parallel to the principle required by the perdurantist’s semantic account. I object that the endurantist should better avoid DUC. And I argue that even DUC, if accepted, would fail to provide the endurantist with the necessary (...)
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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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  • Perdurantism, Universalism and Quantifiers.Achille Varzi - 2003 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (2):208-215.
    I argue that the conjunction of perdurantism (the view that objects are temporally extended) and universalism (the thesis that any old class of things has a mereological fusion) gives rise to undesired complications when combined with certain plausible assumptions concerning the semantics of tensed statements.
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  • Persistence and Responsibility.Neal A. Tognazzini - 2010 - In Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke & Harry Silverstein (eds.), Time and Identity. MIT Press.
    In this paper I argue that adopting a perdurance view of persistence through time does not lead to skepticism about moral responsibility, despite what many theorists have thought.
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  • Restricted Diachronic Composition and Special Relativity.Stephan Torre - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (2):235-255.
    When do objects at different times compose a further object? This is the question of diachronic composition. The universalist answers, ‘under any conditions whatsoever’. Others argue for restrictions on diachronic composition: composition occurs only when certain conditions are met. Recently, some philosophers have argued that restrictions on diachronic compositions are motivated by our best physical theories. In Persistence and Spacetime and elsewhere, Yuri Balashov argues that diachronic compositions are restricted in terms of causal connections between object stages. In a recent (...)
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  • Actual Time and Possible Change: A Problem for Modal Arguments for Temporal Parts.Michael Traynor - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (2):180-189.
    Sider (2001) and Hawley (2001) argue that, in order to account for the mere possibility of change, temporal parts must be as fine-grained as possible change, and hence as fine-grained as time. However, when dealing with metaphysical possibility, the fine-grainedness of actual time and the fine-grainedness of possible change can come apart. Once this is taken into account, we see that, on certain assumptions about the actual microstructure of time, the modal arguments of Sider and Hawley lead to the problematic (...)
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  • Time Travel for Endurantists.Markos Valaris & Michaelis Michael - 2015 - American Philosophical Quarterly 52 (4):357-364.
    Famously, David Lewis argued that we can avoid the apparent paradoxes of time travel by introducing a notion of personal time, which by and large follows the causal flow of the time traveler's life history. This paper argues that a related approach can be adapted for use by three-dimensionalists in response to Ted Sider's claim that three-dimensionalism is inconsistent with time travel. In contrast to Lewis (and others who follow him on this point), however, this paper argues that the order (...)
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  • Expectancy and Rational Action Prior to Personal Fission.Paul Tappenden - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 153 (2):299 - 306.
    Some analyses of personal fission suggest that an informed subject should expect to have a distinct experience of each outcome simultaneously. Is rational provision for the future possible in such unfamiliar circumstances? I argue that, with some qualification, the subject can reasonably act as if faced with alternative possible outcomes with precise probabilities rather than multiple actual outcomes.
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  • Maximality and Microphysical Supervenience.Theodore Sider - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (1):139-149.
    A property, F, is maximal i?, roughly, large parts of an F are not themselves Fs. Maximal properties are typically extrinsic, for their instantiation by x depends on what larger things x is part of. This makes trouble for a recent argument against microphysical superve- nience by Trenton Merricks. The argument assumes that conscious- ness is an intrinsic property, whereas consciousness is in fact maximal and extrinsic.
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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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  • Against Vague Existence.Theodore Sider - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 114 (1-2):135 - 146.
    In my book Four-dimensionalism (chapter 4, section 9), I argued that fourdimensionalism – the doctrine of temporal parts – follows from several other premises, chief among which is the premise that existence is never vague. Kathrin Koslicki (preceding article) claims that the argument fails since its crucial premise is unsupported, and is dialectically inappropriate to assume in the context of arguing for four-dimensionalism. Since the relationship between four-dimensionalism and the non-vagueness of existence is not perfectly transparent, I think the argument (...)
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  • Temporal Predication with Temporal Parts and Temporal Counterparts.Thomas Sattig - 2003 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (3):355 – 368.
    If ordinary objects have temporal parts, then temporal predications have the following truth conditions: necessarily, ( a is F) at t iff a has a temporal part that is located at t and that is F. If ordinary objects have temporal counterparts, then, necessarily, ( a is F) at t iff a has a temporal counterpart that is located at t and that is F. The temporal-parts account allows temporal predication to be closed under the parthood relation: since all that (...)
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  • Persistence Through Function Preservation.David Rose - 2015 - Synthese 192 (1):97-146.
    When do the folk think that material objects persist? Many metaphysicians have wanted a view which fits with folk intuitions, yet there is little agreement about what the folk intuit. I provide a range of empirical evidence which suggests that the folk operate with a teleological view of persistence: the folk tend to intuit that a material object survives alterations when its function is preserved. Given that the folk operate with a teleological view of persistence, I argue for a debunking (...)
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  • Species in Three and Four Dimensions.Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2008 - Synthese 164 (2):161-184.
    There is an interesting parallel between two debates in different domains of contemporary analytic philosophy. One is the endurantism– perdurantism, or three-dimensionalism vs. four-dimensionalism, debate in analytic metaphysics. The other is the debate on the species problem in philosophy of biology. In this paper I attempt to cross-fertilize these debates with the aim of exploiting some of the potential that the two debates have to advance each other. I address two issues. First, I explore what the case of species implies (...)
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  • There is a Problem of Change.Michael Raven - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 155 (1):23-35.
    Impostors are pseudo-problems masquerading as genuine problems. Impostors should be exposed. The problem of change appears genuine. But some, such as Hofweber ( 2009 ) and Rychter ( 2009 ), have recently denounced it as an impostor. They allege that it is mysterious how to answer the meta - problem of saying what problem it is: for even if any problem is genuinely about change per se, they argue, it is either empirical or trivially dissolved by conceptual analysis. There is (...)
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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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  • I Am Not Now, nor Have I Ever Been, a Turnip.Josh Parsons - 2005 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (1):1 – 14.
    This paper considers how to put together two popular ideas in the philosophy of time: detenserism and perdurantism (the view that objects persist through time by having temporal parts. On the most obvious way of doing this, certain problems arise. I argue that to deal with these problems we need a tool that is unfamiliar to most detensers and perdurantists - the distinction between sortal and non-sortal predicates.
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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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  • How Do Things Persist? Location Relations in Physics and the Metaphysics of Persistence.Thomas Pashby - 2016 - Dialectica 70 (3):269-309.
    This paper investigates the use of theories of mechanics to provide answers to questions in the metaphysics of spatial location and persistence. Investigating spatial location, I find that in classical physics bodies pertend the region of space at which they are exactly located, while a quantum system spans a region at which it is exactly located. Following this analysis, I present a ‘no-go’ result which shows that quantum mechanics restricts the available options for locational persistence theories in an interesting way: (...)
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  • Ethics and the Generous Ontology.Eric Olson - 2010 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 31 (4):259-270.
    According to a view attractive to both metaphysicians and ethicists, every period in a person’s life is the life of a being just like that person except that it exists only during that period. These “subpeople” appear to have moral status, and their interests seem to clash with ours: though it may be in some person’s interests to sacrifice for tomorrow, it is not in the interests of a subperson coinciding with him only today, who will never benefit from it. (...)
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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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  • Does Four-Dimensionalism Explain Coincidence?∗.Mark Moyer - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (3):479-488.
    For those who think the statue and the piece of copper that compose it are distinct objects that coincide, there is a burden of explanation. After all, common sense says that different ordinary objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time. A common argument in favour of four-dimensionalism (or ?perdurantism? or ?temporal parts theory?) is that it provides the resources for a superior explanation of this coincidence. This, however, is mistaken. Any explanatory work done by the four-dimensionalist notion (...)
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  • Transient Things and Permanent Stuff.Paul Needham - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):147 – 166.
    A view of individuals as constituted of quantities of matter, both understood as continuants enduring over time, is elaborated in some detail. Constitution is a three-place relation which can't be collapsed to identity because of the place-holder for a time and because individuals and quantities of matter have such a radically different character. Individuals are transient entities with limited lifetimes, whereas quantities are permanent existents undergoing change in physical and chemical properties from time to time. Coincidence, considered as a matter (...)
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  • Persistence, Parts, and Presentism.Trenton Merricks - 1999 - Noûs 33 (3):421-438.
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  • The Endurance/Perdurance Distinction.Neil McKinnon - 2002 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 80 (3):288 – 306.
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  • No Paradox of Multi-Location.Kris McDaniel - 2003 - Analysis 63 (4):309-311.
    This is a defense of endurantism against an alleged paradox.
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  • Endurantism Vs Perdurantism? A Debate Reconsidered.Ofra Magidor - 2016 - Noûs 50 (3):509-532.
    One of the central debates in contemporary metaphysics has been the debate between endurantism and perdurantism about persistence. In this paper I argue that much of this debate has been misconstrued: most of the arguments in the debate crucially rely on theses which are strictly orthogonal to the endurantism/perdurantism debate. To show this, I note that the arguments in the endurantism/perdurantism debate typically take the following form: one presents a challenge that endurantists allegedly have some trouble addressing, and to which (...)
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  • Why Neither Diachronic Universalism nor the Argument From Vagueness Establishes Perdurantism.Ofra Magidor - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (1):113-126.
    One of the most influential arguments in favour of perdurantism is the Argument from Vagueness. The argument proceeds in three stages: The first aims to establish atemporal universalism. The second presents a parallel argument in favour of universalism in the context of temporalized parthood. The third argues that diachronic universalism entails perdurantism. I offer a novel objection to the argument. I show that on the correct way of formulating diachronic universalism the principle does not entail perdurantism. On the other hand, (...)
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  • On Continuity and Endurance.Claudio Mazzola - 2015 - Acta Analytica 30 (2):133-147.
    According to three-dimensionalism, objects persist in time by being wholly present at each time they exist; on the contrary, four-dimensionalism asserts that objects persist by having different temporal parts at different times or that they are instantaneous temporal parts of four-dimensional aggregates. Le Poidevin has argued that four-dimensionalism better accommodates two common assumptions concerning persistence and continuity; namely, that time itself is continuous and that objects persist in time in a continuous way. To this purpose, he has offered two independent (...)
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