Enduring Special Relativity

Southern Journal of Philosophy 42 (3):349-370 (2004)
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Abstract

Endurantism is not inconsistent with the theory of special relativity, or so I shall argue. Endurantism is not committed to presentism, and thus not committed to a metaphysics that is at least prima facie inconsistent with special relativity. Nor is special relativity inconsistent with the idea that objects are wholly present at a time just if all of their parts co-exist at that time. For the endurantist notion of co-existence in terms of which “wholly present” is defined, is not, I will argue, a notion according to which co-existence is transitive. Although an absence of absolute simultaneity presents some problems for the endurantist claim that objects are wholly present whenever they exist, there are a number of ways that the endurantist can respond to this difficulty. Thus, I conclude, considerations pertaining to the theory of special relativity certainly do not rule out endurantism as a metaphysics of persistence.

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Kristie Miller
University of Sydney

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