The crooked path from vagueness to four-dimensionalism

Philosophical Studies 114 (1-2):107 - 134 (2003)
The main goal of Sider’s book, Four-Dimensionalism: An Ontology of Persistence and Time, is to show why his version of four- dimensionalism, the stage-theory, on balance, should be preferred over its main competitors: it is, in his view, the theory which presents the best unified treatment of a wide range of central metaphysical puzzles; the theory which has, on balance, “the most important advantages and the least serious drawbacks” (ibid., p. 140). I argue in this paper that, when we add up all the evidence for and against the stage-theory, a different assessment of the dialectical situation recommends itself. As it turns out, everything depends on the argument from vagueness, the dialectical fulcrum of Sider’s book. If it were not for the argument from vagueness (so I suggest in outline in Section 2 of this paper), the situation would be relatively even-handed between the three-dimensionalist and the four-dimensionalist. But the argument from vagueness (as I show in more detail in Section 3) suffers from a crucial, and arguably fatal, weakness: no independent, non-question-begging justification has been provided for its most controversial premise, the non-vagueness of mereological composition.
Keywords Four dimensionalism  Three dimensionalism  Endurance  Perdurance  Stage theory  Argument from vagueness  Mereology  Unrestricted mereological composition
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2307/4321375
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,661
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Yuri Balashov (2005). On Vagueness, 4d and Diachronic Universalism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (4):523 – 531.

View all 17 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

108 ( #27,710 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

17 ( #45,081 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.