Philosophy Compass 1 (1):48–57 (2006)
|Abstract||Our world is a world of change. Children are born and grow into adults. Material possessions rust and decay with age and ultimately perish. Yet scepticism about change is as old as philosophy itself. Heraclitus, for example, argued that nothing could survive the replacement of parts, so that it is impossible to step into the same river twice. Zeno argued that motion is paradoxical, so that nothing can alter its location. Parmenides and his followers went even further, arguing that the very concept of qualitative change is inconsistent. Change in any respect is impossible, they argued, since change requires difference and nothing differs from itself.1 Few today would accept the Eleatic conclusion that change is impossible. But the topic of change continues to be a source of much debate, as it brings together various issues that are central to metaphysics, language and logic – including identity, persistence, time, tense, and temporal logic. As we consider various approaches to our topic, it will become clear that one’s perspective on change is often determined by one’s position in the broader philosophical landscape|
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