The donkey problem

Philosophical Studies 140 (1):83 - 101 (2008)
Abstract
The Donkey Problem (as I am calling it) concerns the relationship between more and less fundamental ontologies. I will claim that the moral to draw from the Donkey Problem is that the less fundamental objects are merely conventional. This conventionalism has consequences for the 3D/4D debate. Four-dimensionalism is motivated by a desire to avoid coinciding objects, but once we accept that the non-fundamental ontology is conventional there is no longer any reason to reject coincidence. I therefore encourage 4Dists to become even more radical—embrace the Donkey Problem’s conventionalism and deflate the debate between 3Dists and 4Dists.
Keywords Conventionalism  Four-dimensionalism  Possible worlds  Fundamental ontology  Sider  Lewis
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Kit Fine (2001). The Question of Realism. Philosophers' Imprint 1 (2):1-30.

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