On Stages, Worms, and Relativity

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 that considerations of special relativity favor the worm theory over the stage theory.
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DOI 10.1017/S1358246100010584
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D. H. Mellor (1981). Real Time. Cambridge University Press.

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