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According to the perdurantist, persisting objects are “space-time worms.” That is, persisting objects are spread out in time in much the same way as how they are spread out in space—just has I have spatial parts (e.g. hand parts and a head part) which occupy spatial subregions of the greater spatial region I now occupy, I have temporal parts (e.g. me when I was an infant, me now) which occupy temporal subregions of the greater temporal region I occupy. Properly understood, the perdurantist maintains, I am a four-dimensional fusion of all these spatio-temporal parts. Perdurantists face a variety of challenges. It’s not very intuitive, some say, and this is reason to reject the view. Others argue that there are strong disanalogies between time and space which undermine the parallels between spatial parts and temporal parts that perdurantism relies upon. Then there are those who find the notion temporal parts simply unintelligible. In addition to trying to address these and other issues, perdurantists argue that their theory of persistence has a variety of virtues—including, for instance, a natural compatibility with relativistic physics.

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  1. Yuri Balashov, Enduring and Perduring Objects in Minkowski.
    I examine the issue of persistence over time in the context of the special theory of relativity (SR). The four-dimensional ontology of perduring objects is clearly favored by SR. But it is a different question if and to what extent this ontology is required, and the rival endurantist ontology ruled out, by this theory. In addressing this question, I take the essential idea of endurantism, that objects are wholly present at single moments of time, and argue that it commits one (...)
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  2. Yuri Balashov, Noûs 33 (1999): 644-662.
    I offer an argument in defense of four-dimensionalism, the view that objects are temporally, as well as spatially extended. The argument is of the inference-to-the-best-explanation variety and is based on relativistic considerations. It deals with the situation in which one and the same object has different three-dimensional shapes at the same time and proceeds by asking what sort of thing it must be in order to present itself in such different ways in various “perspectives” (associated with moving reference frames) without (...)
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  3. Yuri Balashov (2009). Pegs, Boards, and Relativistic Perdurance. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 90 (2):167-175.
    In an earlier work I developed an argument favoring one view of persistence (viz., perdurance) over its rivals, based on considerations of the relativity of three-dimensional spatial shapes of physical objects in Minkowski spacetime. The argument has since come under criticism (in the works of Theodore Sider, Kristie Miller, Ian Gibson, Oliver Pooley, and Thomas Sattig). Two related topics, explanatory virtues and explanatory relevance, are central to these critical discussions. In this paper I deal with these topics directly and respond (...)
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  4. Yuri Balashov (2002). On Stages, Worms, and Relativity. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 50:223-.
    Four-dimensionalism, or perdurantism, the view that temporally extended objects persist through time by having (spatio-)temporal parts or stages, includes two varieties, the worm theory and the stage theory. According to the worm theory, perduring objects are four-dimensional wholes occupying determinate regions of spacetime and having temporal parts, or stages, each of them confined to a particular time. The stage theorist, however, claims, not that perduring objects have stages, but that the fundamental entities of the perdurantist ontology are stages. I argue (...)
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  5. Yuri Balashov (2000). Enduring and Perduring Objects in Minkowski Space-Time. Philosophical Studies 99 (2):129-166.
    I examine the issue of persistence over time in thecontext of the special theory of relativity (SR). Thefour-dimensional ontology of perduring objects isclearly favored by SR. But it is a different questionif and to what extent this ontology is required, andthe rival endurantist ontology ruled out, by thistheory. In addressing this question, I take theessential idea of endurantism, that objects are whollypresent at single moments of time, and argue that itcommits one to unacceptable conclusions regardingcoexistence, in the context of SR. (...)
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  6. Jiri Benovksy (2007). On Presentist Perdurantism. SATS: Northern European Journal of Philosophy 8 (2):79-88.
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  7. Jiri Benovsky (2013). New Reasons to Motivate Trope Theory: Endurantism and Perdurantism. Acta Analytica 28 (2):223-227.
    In this paper, I argue that (non-presentist) endurantism is incompatible with the view that properties are universals. I do so by putting forward a very simple objection that forces the endurantist to embrace tropes, rather than universals. I do not claim that this is bad news for the endurantist—trope theory seems to me by all means more appealing than universals—rather, I would like to see this result as a further motivation to embrace tropes. I then also put forward a (more (...)
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  8. Jiri Benovsky (2011). Endurance, Perdurance, and Metaontology. SATS: Northern European Journal of Philosophy (2):159-177.
    The recent debate in metaontology gave rise to several types of (more or less classical) answers to questions about "equivalences" between metaphysical theories and to the question whether metaphysical disputes are substantive or merely verbal (i.e. various versions of realism, strong anti-realism, moderate anti-realism, or epistemicism). In this paper, I want to do two things. First, I shall have a close look at one metaphysical debate that has been the target and center of interest of many meta-metaphysicians, namely the problem (...)
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  9. Jiri Benovsky (2011). Endurance, Perdurance and Metaontology. SATS 12 (2).
    The recent debate in metaontology gave rise to several types of (more or less classical) answers to questions about "equivalences" between metaphysical theories and to the question whether metaphysical disputes are substantive or merely verbal (i.e. various versions of realism, strong anti-realism, moderate anti-realism, or epistemicism). In this paper, I want to do two things. First, I shall have a close look at one metaphysical debate that has been the target and center of interest of many meta-metaphysicians, namely the problem (...)
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  10. Jiri Benovsky (2009). Eternalist Theories of Persistence Through Time: Where the Differences Really Lie. Axiomathes 19 (1):51-71.
    The eternalist endurantist and perdurantist theories of persistence through time come in various versions, namely the two versions of perdurantism: the worm view and the stage view , and the two versions of endurantism: indexicalism and adverbialism . Using as a starting point the instructive case of what is depicted by photographs, I will examine these four views, and compare them, with some interesting results. Notably, we will see that two traditional enemies—the perdurantist worm view and the endurantist theories—are more (...)
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  11. Jiri Benovsky (2006). Four-Dimensionalism and Modal Perdurants. In Paolo Valore (ed.), Topics on General and Formal Ontology. Polimetrica International Scientific Publisher 137.
    This paper is about persistence of material objects through time and across possible worlds. It starts with the well-known argument from undetached parts, that is put as an objection to endurantism raised by four-dimensionalists who claim to have a nice treatment of it themselves. While it will be acknowledged that, indeed, four-dimensionalism has a good explanatory power here, and has an advantage over endurantism, we will then see a modified (modalized) version of the argument that will not be so easily (...)
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  12. Jiri Benovsky (2006). Persistence Through Time and Across Possible Worlds. Ontos Verlag.
    How do ordinary objects persist through time and across possible worlds ? How do they manage to have their temporal and modal properties ? These are the questions adressed in this book which is a "guided tour of theories of persistence". The book is divided in two parts. In the first, the two traditional accounts of persistence through time (endurantism and perdurantism) are combined with presentism and eternalism to yield four different views, and their variants. The resulting views are then (...)
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  13. Montse Bordes (1998). Abstract Particulars in a Four-Dimensional Frame. Dialectica 52:3-12.
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  14. Montse Bordes (1997). Four-Dimensional Remarks: A Defence of Temporal Parts. Theoria (29):343-377.
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  15. Andrew Botterell (2004). Temporal Parts And Temporary Intrinsics. Metaphysica 5 (2):5-23.
    In this paper I consider an objection that friends of the Metaphysic of Temporal Parts (MTP) press against other solutions to the problem of temporary intrinsics and turn it against the MTP itself. I do not argue that the MTP must be false, nor do I argue that there are no arguments in favor of the MTP. Rather, the conclusion I draw is conditional: if the MTP provides an adequate response to the problem of temporary intrinsics, then the MTP provides (...)
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  16. D. Braddon-Mitchell & K. Miller (2004). The Loneliness of Stages. Analysis 64 (3):235-242.
    Harold Noonan has recently argued (2003) that one of Lewis’s (1983: 76– 77) arguments for the view that objects persist by perduring is flawed. Lewis’s argument can be divided into two main sections, the first of which attempts to show that it is possible that there exists a world of temporal parts or stages, and the second, which attempts to show that our world is such a world. Noonan claims that there is a flaw in each of these two stages.We (...)
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  17. David Braddon-Mitchell & Kristie Miller (2006). Talking About a Universalist World. Philosophical Studies 130 (3):499-534.
    The paper defends a combination of perdurantism with mereological universalism by developing semantics of temporary predications of the sort ’some P is/was/will be (a) Q’. We argue that, in addition to the usual application of causal and other restrictions on sortals, the grammatical form of such statements allows for rather different regimentations along three separate dimensions, according to: (a) whether ‘P’ and ‘Q’ are being used as phase or substance sortal terms, (b) whether ‘is’, ‘was’, and ‘will be’ are the (...)
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  18. David Braddon-Mitchell & Kristie Miller (2006). Talking About a Universalist World. Philosophical Studies 130 (3):499-534.
    The paper defends a combination of perdurantism with mereological universalism by developing semantics of temporary predications of the sort ’some P is/was/will be Q’. We argue that, in addition to the usual application of causal and other restrictions on sortals, the grammatical form of such statements allows for rather different regimentations along three separate dimensions, according to: whether ‘P’ and ‘Q’ are being used as phase or substance sortal terms, whether ‘is’, ‘was’, and ‘will be’ are the ‘is’, ‘was’, ‘will (...)
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  19. Mikel Burley (2008). Harry Silverstein's Four-Dimensionalism and the Purported Evil of Death. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 16 (4):559 – 568.
    In his article 'The Evil of Death' (henceforth: ED) Harry Silverstein argues that a proper refutation of the Epicurean view that death is not an evil requires the adoption of a particular revisionary ontology, which Silverstein, following Quine, calls 'four-dimensionalism'.1 In 'The Evil of Death Revisited' (henceforth: EDR) Silverstein reaffirms his earlier position and responds to several criticisms, including some targeted at his ontology. There remain, however, serious problems with Silverstein's argument, and I shall highlight five major ones below. I (...)
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  20. J. Butterfield (2006). The Rotating Discs Argument Defeated. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (1):1-45.
    The rotating discs argument against perdurantism has been mostly discussed by metaphysicians, though the argument of course appeals to ideas from classical mechanics, especially about rotation. In contrast, I assess the RDA from the perspective of the philosophy of physics. I argue for three main conclusions. The first conclusion is that the RDA can be formulated more strongly than is usually recognized: it is not necessary to ‘imagine away’ the dynamical effects of rotation. The second is that in general relativity, (...)
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  21. Jeremy Butterfield (2006). The Rotating Discs Argument Defeated. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (1):1-45.
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  22. Jeremy Butterfield, On the Persistence of Homogeneous Matter.
    Some recent philosophical debate about persistence has focussed on an argument against perdurantism that discusses rotating perfectly homogeneous discs. The argument has been mostly discussed by metaphysicians, though it appeals to ideas from classical mechanics, especially about rotation. In contrast, I assess the RDA from the perspective of the philosophy of physics. After introducing the argument and emphasizing the relevance of physics, I review some metaphysicians' replies to the argument, especially those by Callender, Lewis, Robinson and Sider. Thereafter, I argue (...)
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  23. Claudio Calosi & Damiano Costa (2015). Multilocation, Fusions and Confusions. Philosophia 43 (1):25-33.
    The paper provides a new and detailed critique of Barker and Dowe’s argument against multi-location. This critique is not only novel but also less committal than previous ones in the literature in that it does not require hefty metaphysical assumptions. The paper also provides an analysis of some metaphysical relations between mereological and locational principles.
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  24. Ben Caplan & Carl Matheson (2008). Defending 'Defending Musical Perdurantism'. British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (1):80-85.
    British Journal of Aesthetics (forthcoming Jan. 2008).
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  25. Ben Caplan & Carl Matheson (2006). Defending Musical Perdurantism. British Journal of Aesthetics 46 (1):59-69.
    If musical works are abstract objects, which cannot enter into causal relations, then how can we refer to musical works or know anything about them? Worse, how can any of our musical experiences be experiences of musical works? It would be nice to be able to sidestep these questions altogether. One way to do that would be to take musical works to be concrete objects. In this paper, we defend a theory according to which musical works are concrete objects. In (...)
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  26. George Djukic (2004). Do Four-Dimensionalists Have to Be Counterpart Theorists? Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (2):292 – 311.
    In 'Four-Dimensional Objects' Peter van Inwagen gives two arguments for the claim that proponents of four-dimensionalism have to be counterpart theorists. Recently Jack Copeland, Heather Dyke, and Diane Proudfoot, echoing in part points made by Mark Heller in this journal in 1993, have sought to rebut one of van Inwagen's arguments. In this paper I shall criticize their discussion and by implication certain points made by Heller. In so doing I shall also rebut a possible objection to van Inwagen's second (...)
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  27. Maureen Donnelly (2011). Endurantist and Perdurantist Accounts of Persistence. Philosophical Studies 154 (1):27 - 51.
    In this paper, I focus on three issues intertwined in current debates between endurantists and perdurantists—(i) the dimension of persisting objects, (ii) whether persisting objects have timeless, or only time-relative, parts, and (iii) whether persisting objects have proper temporal parts. I argue that one standard endurantist position on the first issue is compatible with standard perdurantist positions on parthood and temporal parts. I further argue that different accounts of persistence depend on the claims about objects' dimensions and not on the (...)
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  28. Mauro Dorato (2012). Presentism/Eternalism and Endurantism/Perdurantism: Why the Unsubstantiality of the First Debate Implies That of the Second. Philosophia Naturalis 49 (1):25-41.
    The main claim that I want to defend in this paper is that the there are logical equivalences between eternalism and perdurantism on the one hand and presentism and endurantism on the other. By “logical equivalence” I mean that one position is entailed and entails the other. As a consequence of this equivalence, it becomes important to inquire into the question whether the dispute between endurantists and perdurantists is authentic, given that Savitt (2006) Dolev (2006) and Dorato (2006) have cast (...)
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  29. Antony Eagle (2010). Duration in Relativistic Spacetime. In Dean Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, volume 5. Oxford University Press 113-17.
    In ‘Location and Perdurance’ (2010), I argued that there are no compelling mereological or sortal grounds requiring the perdurantist to distinguish the molecule Abel from the atom Abel in Gilmore’s original case (2007). The remaining issue Gilmore originally raised concerned the ‘mass history’ of Adam and Abel, the distribution of ‘their’ mass over spacetime. My response to this issue was to admit that mass histories needed to be relativised to a way of partitioning the location of Adam/Abel, but that did (...)
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  30. Antony Eagle (2010). Location and Perdurance. In Dean Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, volume 5. Oxford Univerity Press 53-94.
    Recently, Cody Gilmore has deployed an ingenious case involving backwards time travel to highlight an apparent conflict between the theory that objects persist by perduring, and the thesis that wholly coincident objects are impossible. However, careful attention to the concepts of location and parthood that Gilmore’s cases involve shows that the perdurantist faces no genuine objection from these cases, and that the perdurantist has a number of plausible and dialectically appropriate ways to avoid the supposed conflict.
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  31. Antony Eagle (2007). Reply to Stone on Counterpart Theory and Four-Dimensionalism. Analysis 67 (2):159 - 162.
    Recently, Jim Stone has argued that counterpart theory is incompatible with the existence of temporal parts. I demonstrate that there is no such incompatibility.
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  32. M. Eddon (2010). Why Four-Dimensionalism Explains Coincidence. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (4):721-728.
    In ?Does Four-Dimensionalism Explain Coincidence?? Mark Moyer argues that there is no reason to prefer the four-dimensionalist (or perdurantist) explanation of coincidence to the three-dimensionalist (or endurantist) explanation. I argue that Moyer's formulations of perdurantism and endurantism lead him to overlook the perdurantist's advantage. A more satisfactory formulation of these views reveals a puzzle of coincidence that Moyer does not consider, and the perdurantist's treatment of this puzzle is clearly preferable.
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  33. Nikk Effingham, The Inelegance of Perdurantist Universalism.
    Universalism (the thesis that for any ys, those ys compose a further object) is an answer to the Special Composition Question. In the literature there are three arguments (the arguments from elegance) that are often relied upon, but rarely examined in-depth. I argue that these motivations cannot be had by the perdurantist, for to avoid a commitment to badly behaved superluminal objects perdurantists must answer the Proper Continuant Question. Any answer to that question necessarily ensures that there is a restricted (...)
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  34. Nikk Effingham (2012). Endurantism and Perdurantism. In Robert Barnard Neil Manson (ed.), Continuum Companion to Metaphysics. 170.
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  35. Robert Francescotti (2010). Psychological Continuity and the Necessity of Identity. American Philosophical Quarterly 47 (4):337-350.
    In attempting to understand personal identity, it is common practice to imagine a person existing at some time t and a person existing at a time t* , and then to ask, What does it take for person x at t to be the same person as person y at t*?The Psychological Continuity Approach answers: there is a relation, R, of psychological continuity such that person x at t is the same person as person y at t* if and only (...)
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  36. Cord Friebe, Persistence in Minkowski Space-Time.
    Under the eternalist hypothesis that objects or events exist temporally, but independently of being present two different views of persistence are on the market: Persisting objects endure if they are multiply located in time, and persisting objects perdure if they are singly located by having numerically different temporal parts. In the framework of the special theory of relativity, the metaphysics of persistence is confronted with peculiar difficulties. Things persist by being “wholly present” at more than one time; but what are (...)
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  37. Cord Friebe, Persistence in Minkowski Spacetime: The Irrelevance of the Endurance/Perdurance Distinction.
    Under the eternalist hypothesis that objects or events exist independently of being present two different views of persistence are on the market: Persisting objects endure if they are multiply located in time, and persisting objects perdure if they are singly located by having numerically different temporal parts. Recently, several authors have argued that special relativity favours perdurantism over its endurantist rival. In my talk, I want to show that in fact the purported arguments are only those against endurantism, and that (...)
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  38. Philippe Gagnon (2015). New Arguments for 'Intelligent Design'? Review Article on William A. Dembski, Being as Communion: A Metaphysics of Information. [REVIEW] ESSSAT News and Reviews 25 (1):17-24.
    Critical notice assessing the use of information theory in the attempt to build a design inference, and to re-establish some aspects of the program of natural theology, as carried out in this third major monograph devoted to the subject of intelligent design theory by mathematician and philosopher William A. Dembski, after The Design Inference (1998) and No Free Lunch (2002).
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  39. Cody Gilmore (2008). Persistence and Location in Relativistic Spacetime. Philosophy Compass 3 (6):1224-1254.
    How is the debate between endurantism and perdurantism affected by the transition from pre-relativistic spacetimes to relativistic ones? After suggesting that the endurance vs. perdurance distinction may run together a pair of cross-cutting distinctions, I discuss two recent attempts to show that the transition in question does serious damage to endurantism.
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  40. Cody Gilmore (2007). Time Travel, Coinciding Objects, and Persistence. In Dean Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, Vol. 3. Clarendon Press 177-198.
    Existing puzzles about coinciding objects can be divided into two types, corresponding to the manner in which they bear upon the endurantism v. perdurantism debate. Puzzles of the first type, which involve temporary spatial co-location, can be solved simply by abandoning endurantism in favor of perdurantism, whereas those of the second type, which involve career-long spatial co-location, remain equally puzzling on both views. I show that the possibility of backward time travel would give rise to a new type of puzzle. (...)
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  41. Alessandro Giordani & Damiano Costa (2013). From Times to Worlds and Back Again: A Transcendentist Theory of Persistence. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (1):210-220.
    Until recently, an almost perfect parallelism seemed to hold between theories of identity through time and across possible worlds,as every account in the temporal case(endurantism,perdurantism, exdurantism) was mirrored by a twin account in the modal case (trans-world identity, identity-via-parts, identity-via-counterparts). Nevertheless, in the recent literature, this parallelism has been broken because of the implementation in the debate of the relation of location. In particular, endurantism has been subject to a more in-depth analysis, and different versions of it, corresponding to different (...)
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  42. Geoffrey Gorham (2010). Descartes on Persistence and Temporal Parts. In Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke & Harry Silverstein (eds.), Time and Identity. MIT Press
    This chapter discusses the “real distinction” between the mind and the body and a demonstration of the immortality of the soul as demonstrated in Descartes’s Meditations. Early readers of Descartes’s work like Arnauld and Mersenne rejected the idea on the grounds that “it does not seem to follow from the fact that the mind is distinct from the body that it is incorruptible or immortal.” In light of this, Descartes devised a more detailed proof of immortality based on two assumptions (...)
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  43. Mariusz Grygianiec (2007). 'Four-Dimensionalism' - analiza i interpretacja. Filozofia Nauki 1.
    There are several faces of Four-Dimensionalism. Sometimes 4D-ism is formulated as the thesis that the material world is composed of spatial as well as temporal parts. Another version of 4D-ism states that persisting objects are extended over time in the same way that they are extended over space. Some Four-Dimensionalists defend the thesis that all objects persist by perduring i.e. by having different temporal parts at different times. Sometimes 4D-ism means the same as eternalism - the thesis that past and (...)
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  44. Steven D. Hales & Timothy A. Johnson (2003). Endurantism, Perdurantism and Special Relativity. Philosophical Quarterly 53 (213):524–539.
    There are two main theories about the persistence of objects through time: endurantism and perdurantism. Endurantists hold that objects are three-dimensional, have only spatial parts, and wholly exist at each moment of their existence. Perdurantists hold that objects are four-dimensional, have temporal parts, and only partly exist at each moment of their existence. In this paper we argue that endurantism is poorly suited to describe the persistence of objects in a world governed by Special Relativity, and can accommodate a relativistic (...)
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  45. Tobias Hansson Wahlberg (2009). Objects in Time: Studies of Persistence in B-Time. Dissertation, Lund University
    This thesis is about the conceptualization of persistence of physical, middle-sized objects within the theoretical framework of the revisionary ‘B-theory’ of time. According to the B-theory, time does not flow, but is an extended and inherently directed fourth dimension along which the history of the universe is ‘laid out’ once and for all. It is a widespread view among philosophers that if we accept the B-theory, the commonsensical ‘endurance theory’ of persistence will have to be rejected. The endurance theory says (...)
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  46. Katherine Hawley, Critical Study of Four-Dimensionalism, by Theodore Sider, Oxford University Press 2001, ISBN 0 19 924443 X, Hardback.
    Four-Dimensionalism is a thorough, lively and forceful defence of the claim that “necessarily, every spatiotemporal object has a temporal part at every moment at which it exists” (59). The standard four-dimensionalist view is perdurance theory, according to which everyday things like boats are temporally extended. But Sider rejects perdurance theory, nicely disparaging it as the “worm view”, and he argues for the “stage view” version of fourdimensionalism instead. According to the stage view, everyday things like boats are instantaneous, and claims (...)
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  47. Katherine Hawley, Temporal Parts.
    Temporal parts are analogous to spatial parts: just as the conference has one spatial part which occupies the seminar room, and another which occupies the lecture hall, it has one temporal part which ‘occupies’ Friday and another which ‘occupies’ Saturday. These temporal parts of the conference have half-hour coffee-breaks as temporal parts of their own; these coffee-breaks are also temporal parts of the whole conference.
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  48. Katherine Hawley (forthcoming). David Lewis on Persistence. In Barry Loewer & Jonathan Schaffer (eds.), A Companion to David Lewis. Wiley-Blackwell 237-49.
    This paper provides an overview on David Lewis's writings about persistence. I focus on two issues. First, what is the relationship between the doctrine of Humean Supervenience and the rejection of endurantism? Second, why did Lewis not adopt a stage theory of persistence, given that he advocated a counterpart theory of modality?
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  49. Katherine Hawley (2004/2010). Temporal Parts. Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy.
    Material objects extend through space by having different spatial parts in different places. But how do they persist through time? According to some philosophers, things have temporal parts as well as spatial parts: accepting this is supposed to help us solve a whole bunch of metaphysical problems, and keep our philosophy in line with modern physics. Other philosophers disagree, arguing that neither metaphysics nor physics give us good reason to believe in temporal parts.
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  50. Katherine Hawley (1999). Persistence and Non-Supervenient Relations. Mind 108 (429):53-67.
    I claim that, if persisting objects have temporal parts, then there are non-supervenient relations between those temporal parts. These are relations which are not determined by intrinsic properties of the temporal parts. I use the Kripke-Armstrong 'rotating homogeneous disc' argument in order to establish this claim, and in doing so I defend and develop that argument. This involves a discussion of instantaneous velocity, and of the causes and effects of rotation. Finally, I compare alternative responses to the rotating disc argument, (...)
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