Lawful Persistence

Philosophical Perspectives 36 (1):5-30 (2022)
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The central aim of this paper is to use a particular view about how the laws of nature govern the evolution of our universe in order to develop and evaluate the two main competing options in the metaphysics of persistence, namely endurantism and perdurantism. We begin by motivating the view that our laws of nature dictate not only qualitative facts about the future, but also which objects will instantiate which qualitative properties. We then show that both traditional doctrines in the metaphysics of persistence must take on surprising further commitments in order to vindicate our universe being law-governed in this strong sense. For example, we argue that endurantists should adopt a particular version of monism, and that perdurantists should adopt a qualitativist doctrine that dispenses with all individuals at the fundamental level.

Author Profiles

David Builes
Princeton University
Trevor Teitel
University of Toronto, St. George Campus


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