Persistence, Ontic Vagueness and Identity: Towards a Substantialist Four–dimensionalism [Book Review]

Metaphysica 9 (1):33-55 (2007)
Four-dimensionalism, the stage theory version in particular, has been defended as the best solution for avoiding vagueness in regards to composition, persistence and identity. Stage theory is highly problematic by itself, and the two views usually packed with it, unrestricted composition and counterpart theory, are a heavy burden. However, dispensing with these two views, four-dimensionalism could avoid vague persistence by issuing a criterion that would establish sharp temporal boundaries for the existence of genuine entities (simples, molecules and living organisms). This would avoid vague existence and vague identity, but in a way that is still compatible with endurantism. Nevertheless, a minimal (substantialist) four-dimensionalism, a worm perdurantist ontology, would fit better with the unique way in which organisms persist: by retaining both identity and intrinsic change
Keywords Persistence  Vagueness  Four-dimensionalism  Perdurance  Stages  Substance  Identity
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DOI 10.1007/s12133-007-0020-9
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David Lewis (1983). New Work for a Theory of Universals. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (December):343-377.

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