Temporal parts and their individuation

Analysis 61 (4):289–293 (2001)
Ignoring the temporal dimension, an object such as a railway tunnel or a human body is a three-dimensional whole composed of three-dimensional parts. The four-dimensionalist holds that a physical object exhibiting identity across time—Descartes, for example—is a four-dimensional whole composed of 'briefer' four-dimensional objects, its temporal parts. Peter van Inwagen (1990) has argued that four-dimensionalism cannot be sustained, or at best can be sustained only by a counterpart theorist. We argue that different schemes of individuation of temporal parts are available, which undermines van Inwagen's argument.
Keywords temporal parts  four-dimensionalism
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DOI 10.1111/1467-8284.00307
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