The problem of change

Philosophy Compass 1 (1):48–57 (2006)
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.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2006.00012.x
 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: 15,890
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

View all 30 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Michael J. Raven (2011). There is a Problem of Change. Philosophical Studies 155 (1):23-35.
Paul Hovda (2013). Tensed Mereology. Journal of Philosophical Logic 42 (2):241-283.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

89 ( #31,658 of 1,725,305 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

9 ( #72,298 of 1,725,305 )

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.