Graduate studies at Western
|Abstract||Metaphysicians of space and time are fond of talking about objects being present at, wholly present at, or existing at certain times, or occupying certain regions of space, or even regions of space-time. Take, for example, this famous set of definitions due to Mark Johnston and David Lewis: Let us say that something persists, iff, somehow or other, it exists at various times; this is the neutral word. Something perdures iff it persists by having different temporal parts, or stages, at different times, though no one part of it is wholly present at more than one time; whereas it endures iff it persists by being wholly present at more than one time. (Lewis 1986, p. 202) A great deal of debate has been conducted in this terminology: debates about whether anything does endure or perdure; about the ontology of temporal parts; about whether it makes sense to apply this kind of thinking to space, as well as to time (we can ask, for example, the analogous questions whether things are extended by being entended, or pertended); about whether it can be applied to space-time, and if so, to relativistic space-time. These debates have been fruitful, but cursed with a certain amount of imprecision. People sometimes talk past each..|
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