The definition of endurance

Analysis 69 (2):277-280 (2009)
Abstract
David Lewis, following in the tradition of Broad, Quine and Goodman, says that change in an object X consists in X's being temporally extended and having qualitatively different temporal parts. Analogously, change in a spatially extended object such as a road consists in its having different spatial parts . The alternative to this view is that ordinary objects undergo temporal change in virtue of having different intrinsic non-relational properties at different times. They endure, remaining the same object throughout change, whereas Lewis's temporally extended 4D objects perdure.It is impossible to come down on one side or the other of the endurance/perdurance debate without a clear and unambiguous understanding of what ‘endurance’ is. ‘Perdurance’ is clear enough. Every 4D object of non-zero temporal thickness perdures simply by having temporal extension, i.e. by having different temporal parts, or stages, at different times. But Lewis muddies the waters by giving a confused and ultimately untenable definition of endurance.His first step is to cover both perduring and enduring by offering the neutral word persist. ‘Let us say that something persists iff, somehow or other, it exists at various times’ . Something then perdures if it persists by having different temporal parts at different times, no one part being wholly present at more than one time. In contrast, a thing endures if it persists by being wholly present at more than one …
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