Unsettledness in times of change

Synthese 200 (2):1-20 (2022)
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Abstract

If something changes from being in one state to being in another state, when exactly does it change? And what’s going on at that time? These questions are often discussed under the heading of the ‘moment’ or ‘instant’ of change. In this paper, I will investigate a view on which there is an intrinsically distinguished, atomic time at which something changes, and at that time it is metaphysically indeterminate what is the case. The background metaphysical picture is situationalism, a theory on which reality is composed of irreducibly conflicting parts. These conflicting parts give rise to unsettledness in reality as a whole, and also at the point of change. I propose this view as a competitor for existing accounts of the time of change, and spell out a few reasons in its favour.

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Martin Pickup
University of Birmingham

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