Counting Stages

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (2):311-324 (2013)
This paper defends stage theory against the argument from diachronic counting. It argues that stage theorists can appeal to quantifier domain restriction in order to accommodate intuitions about diachronic counting sentences. Two approaches involving domain restriction are discussed. According to the first, domains of counting are usually restricted to stages at the time of utterance. This approach explains intuitions in many cases, but is theoretically costly and delivers wrong counts if diachronic counting is combined with fission or fusion. On the second approach, domains of counting are usually restricted in an indeterminate way, so as to include at most one member of any maximal class of counterpart-interrelated stages (with respect to a certain utterance). This view can accommodate all the relevant intuitions about counting sentences, and it fits well with a new stage-theoretic view of reference that allows speakers to refer to both present and past stages.
Keywords Metaphysics  Theories of Persistence  Perdurantism  Stage Theory  Worm Theory  Quantifier Domain Restriction
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DOI 10.1080/00048402.2012.704054
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References found in this work BETA
Ned Markosian (2004). A Defence of Presentism. Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 1 (3):47-82.

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