A Fourth View Concerning Persistence

Abstract

(Updated 5/23/24) This unpublished paper, which readers should feel free to cite, is posted primarily for the historical record. In recent work that has, deservedly, received some attention, Paul R. Daniels presents and defends a non-standard theory of persistence that he dubs transdurantism, according to which persisting objects are temporally extended simples. This is exactly what I do in work dating back to Spring 2004. (This work includes this version of this paper, as well as later version that was presented to the University of Rochester's Philosophy Department in 2005.) While this might be a total coincidence, I doubt that it is, especially given that 'transdurantism' appears as a name for a theory of persistence associated with me in at least two places in the literature, one of which includes a citation of this paper. The paper begins with a discussion of what I call 'locative relations' (the relations borne by material objects to the regions of space and time they occupy), which draws relevant distinctions that others have failed to draw. The results of this discussion are then used in constructing spatial analogues for the three established theories of persistence--endurantism, perdurantism, and exdurantism--as well as for transdurantism. Next, these four views concerning persistence are explicitly formulated and a defense of their formulation is offered. Finally, transdurantism's advantages and disadvantages relative to the other theories are discussed. The main goal of the paper is to challenge the trichotomy between the established theories by arguing that transdurantism is also a viable view concerning persistence through time. [Note: Befitting its status as a historical document, with the exception of some light editing to fix typos that might impede understanding, no changes have been made to the paper.]

Author's Profile

Gregory Fowler
University of Rochester (PhD)

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