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According to the perdurantist, persisting objects are “space-time worms.” That is, persisting objects are spread out in time in much the same way as how they are spread out in space—just has I have spatial parts (e.g. hand parts and a head part) which occupy spatial subregions of the greater spatial region I now occupy, I have temporal parts (e.g. me when I was an infant, me now) which occupy temporal subregions of the greater temporal region I occupy. Properly understood, the perdurantist maintains, I am a four-dimensional fusion of all these spatio-temporal parts. Perdurantists face a variety of challenges. It’s not very intuitive, some say, and this is reason to reject the view. Others argue that there are strong disanalogies between time and space which undermine the parallels between spatial parts and temporal parts that perdurantism relies upon. Then there are those who find the notion temporal parts simply unintelligible. In addition to trying to address these and other issues, perdurantists argue that their theory of persistence has a variety of virtues—including, for instance, a natural compatibility with relativistic physics.

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123 found
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  1. Enduring and Perduring Objects in Minkowski.Yuri Balashov - unknown
    I examine the issue of persistence over time in the context of the special theory of relativity (SR). The four-dimensional ontology of perduring objects is clearly favored by SR. But it is a different question if and to what extent this ontology is required, and the rival endurantist ontology ruled out, by this theory. In addressing this question, I take the essential idea of endurantism, that objects are wholly present at single moments of time, and argue that it commits one (...)
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  2. Noûs 33 (1999): 644-662.Yuri Balashov - manuscript
    I offer an argument in defense of four-dimensionalism, the view that objects are temporally, as well as spatially extended. The argument is of the inference-to-the-best-explanation variety and is based on relativistic considerations. It deals with the situation in which one and the same object has different three-dimensional shapes at the same time and proceeds by asking what sort of thing it must be in order to present itself in such different ways in various “perspectives” (associated with moving reference frames) without (...)
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  3. Pegs, Boards, and Relativistic Perdurance.Yuri Balashov - 2009 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 90 (2):167-175.
    In an earlier work I developed an argument favoring one view of persistence (viz., perdurance) over its rivals, based on considerations of the relativity of three-dimensional spatial shapes of physical objects in Minkowski spacetime. The argument has since come under criticism (in the works of Theodore Sider, Kristie Miller, Ian Gibson, Oliver Pooley, and Thomas Sattig). Two related topics, explanatory virtues and explanatory relevance, are central to these critical discussions. In this paper I deal with these topics directly and respond (...)
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  4. On Stages, Worms, and Relativity.Yuri Balashov - 2002 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 50:223-.
    Four-dimensionalism, or perdurantism, the view that temporally extended objects persist through time by having (spatio-)temporal parts or stages, includes two varieties, the worm theory and the stage theory. According to the worm theory, perduring objects are four-dimensional wholes occupying determinate regions of spacetime and having temporal parts, or stages, each of them confined to a particular time. The stage theorist, however, claims, not that perduring objects have stages, but that the fundamental entities of the perdurantist ontology are stages. I argue (...)
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  5. Enduring and Perduring Objects in Minkowski Space-Time.Yuri Balashov - 2000 - Philosophical Studies 99 (2):129-166.
    I examine the issue of persistence over time in thecontext of the special theory of relativity (SR). Thefour-dimensional ontology of perduring objects isclearly favored by SR. But it is a different questionif and to what extent this ontology is required, andthe rival endurantist ontology ruled out, by thistheory. In addressing this question, I take theessential idea of endurantism, that objects are whollypresent at single moments of time, and argue that itcommits one to unacceptable conclusions regardingcoexistence, in the context of SR. (...)
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  6. On Presentist Perdurantism.Jiri Benovksy - 2007 - SATS: Northern European Journal of Philosophy 8 (2):79-88.
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  7. On Presentist Perdurantism.Jiri Benovksy - 2007 - SATS 8 (2).
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  8. New Reasons to Motivate Trope Theory: Endurantism and Perdurantism.Jiri Benovsky - 2013 - Acta Analytica 28 (2):223-227.
    In this paper, I argue that (non-presentist) endurantism is incompatible with the view that properties are universals. I do so by putting forward a very simple objection that forces the endurantist to embrace tropes, rather than universals. I do not claim that this is bad news for the endurantist—trope theory seems to me by all means more appealing than universals—rather, I would like to see this result as a further motivation to embrace tropes. I then also put forward a (more (...)
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  9. Endurance, Perdurance, and Metaontology.Jiri Benovsky - 2011 - SATS: Northern European Journal of Philosophy (2):159-177.
    The recent debate in metaontology gave rise to several types of (more or less classical) answers to questions about "equivalences" between metaphysical theories and to the question whether metaphysical disputes are substantive or merely verbal (i.e. various versions of realism, strong anti-realism, moderate anti-realism, or epistemicism). In this paper, I want to do two things. First, I shall have a close look at one metaphysical debate that has been the target and center of interest of many meta-metaphysicians, namely the problem (...)
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  10. Endurance, Perdurance and Metaontology.Jiri Benovsky - 2011 - SATS 12 (2).
    The recent debate in metaontology gave rise to several types of (more or less classical) answers to questions about "equivalences" between metaphysical theories and to the question whether metaphysical disputes are substantive or merely verbal (i.e. various versions of realism, strong anti-realism, moderate anti-realism, or epistemicism). In this paper, I want to do two things. First, I shall have a close look at one metaphysical debate that has been the target and center of interest of many meta-metaphysicians, namely the problem (...)
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  11. Eternalist Theories of Persistence Through Time: Where the Differences Really Lie.Jiri Benovsky - 2009 - Axiomathes 19 (1):51-71.
    The eternalist endurantist and perdurantist theories of persistence through time come in various versions, namely the two versions of perdurantism: the worm view and the stage view , and the two versions of endurantism: indexicalism and adverbialism . Using as a starting point the instructive case of what is depicted by photographs, I will examine these four views, and compare them, with some interesting results. Notably, we will see that two traditional enemies—the perdurantist worm view and the endurantist theories—are more (...)
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  12. Four-Dimensionalism and Modal Perdurants.Jiri Benovsky - 2006 - In Paolo Valore (ed.), Topics on General and Formal Ontology. Polimetrica International Scientific Publisher. pp. 137.
    This paper is about persistence of material objects through time and across possible worlds. It starts with the well-known argument from undetached parts, that is put as an objection to endurantism raised by four-dimensionalists who claim to have a nice treatment of it themselves. While it will be acknowledged that, indeed, four-dimensionalism has a good explanatory power here, and has an advantage over endurantism, we will then see a modified (modalized) version of the argument that will not be so easily (...)
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  13. Persistence Through Time and Across Possible Worlds.Jiri Benovsky - 2006 - Ontos Verlag.
    How do ordinary objects persist through time and across possible worlds ? How do they manage to have their temporal and modal properties ? These are the questions adressed in this book which is a "guided tour of theories of persistence". The book is divided in two parts. In the first, the two traditional accounts of persistence through time (endurantism and perdurantism) are combined with presentism and eternalism to yield four different views, and their variants. The resulting views are then (...)
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  14. Abstract Particulars in a Four-Dimensional Frame.Montse Bordes - 1998 - Dialectica 52:3-12.
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  15. Four-Dimensional Remarks: A Defence of Temporal Parts.Montse Bordes - 1997 - Theoria (29):343-377.
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  16. Temporal Parts And Temporary Intrinsics.Andrew Botterell - 2004 - Metaphysica 5 (2):5-23.
    In this paper I consider an objection that friends of the Metaphysic of Temporal Parts (MTP) press against other solutions to the problem of temporary intrinsics and turn it against the MTP itself. I do not argue that the MTP must be false, nor do I argue that there are no arguments in favor of the MTP. Rather, the conclusion I draw is conditional: if the MTP provides an adequate response to the problem of temporary intrinsics, then the MTP provides (...)
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  17. The Loneliness of Stages.D. Braddon-Mitchell & K. Miller - 2004 - Analysis 64 (3):235-242.
    Harold Noonan has recently argued (2003) that one of Lewis’s (1983: 76– 77) arguments for the view that objects persist by perduring is flawed. Lewis’s argument can be divided into two main sections, the first of which attempts to show that it is possible that there exists a world of temporal parts or stages, and the second, which attempts to show that our world is such a world. Noonan claims that there is a flaw in each of these two stages.We (...)
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  18. Talking About a Universalist World.David Braddon-Mitchell & Kristie Miller - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 130 (3):499-534.
    The paper defends a combination of perdurantism with mereological universalism by developing semantics of temporary predications of the sort ’some P is/was/will be (a) Q’. We argue that, in addition to the usual application of causal and other restrictions on sortals, the grammatical form of such statements allows for rather different regimentations along three separate dimensions, according to: (a) whether ‘P’ and ‘Q’ are being used as phase or substance sortal terms, (b) whether ‘is’, ‘was’, and ‘will be’ are the (...)
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  19. Harry Silverstein's Four-Dimensionalism and the Purported Evil of Death.Mikel Burley - 2008 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 16 (4):559 – 568.
    In his article 'The Evil of Death' (henceforth: ED) Harry Silverstein argues that a proper refutation of the Epicurean view that death is not an evil requires the adoption of a particular revisionary ontology, which Silverstein, following Quine, calls 'four-dimensionalism'.1 In 'The Evil of Death Revisited' (henceforth: EDR) Silverstein reaffirms his earlier position and responds to several criticisms, including some targeted at his ontology. There remain, however, serious problems with Silverstein's argument, and I shall highlight five major ones below. I (...)
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  20. The Rotating Discs Argument Defeated.J. Butterfield - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (1):1-45.
    The rotating discs argument against perdurantism has been mostly discussed by metaphysicians, though the argument of course appeals to ideas from classical mechanics, especially about rotation. In contrast, I assess the RDA from the perspective of the philosophy of physics. I argue for three main conclusions. The first conclusion is that the RDA can be formulated more strongly than is usually recognized: it is not necessary to ‘imagine away’ the dynamical effects of rotation. The second is that in general relativity, (...)
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  21. On the Persistence of Homogeneous Matter.Jeremy Butterfield - unknown
    Some recent philosophical debate about persistence has focussed on an argument against perdurantism that discusses rotating perfectly homogeneous discs. The argument has been mostly discussed by metaphysicians, though it appeals to ideas from classical mechanics, especially about rotation. In contrast, I assess the RDA from the perspective of the philosophy of physics. After introducing the argument and emphasizing the relevance of physics, I review some metaphysicians' replies to the argument, especially those by Callender, Lewis, Robinson and Sider. Thereafter, I argue (...)
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  22. Multilocation, Fusions and Confusions.Claudio Calosi & Damiano Costa - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (1):25-33.
    The paper provides a new and detailed critique of Barker and Dowe’s argument against multi-location. This critique is not only novel but also less committal than previous ones in the literature in that it does not require hefty metaphysical assumptions. The paper also provides an analysis of some metaphysical relations between mereological and locational principles.
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  23. Defending 'Defending Musical Perdurantism'.Ben Caplan & Carl Matheson - 2008 - British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (1):80-85.
    British Journal of Aesthetics (forthcoming Jan. 2008).
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  24. Defending Musical Perdurantism.Ben Caplan & Carl Matheson - 2006 - British Journal of Aesthetics 46 (1):59-69.
    If musical works are abstract objects, which cannot enter into causal relations, then how can we refer to musical works or know anything about them? Worse, how can any of our musical experiences be experiences of musical works? It would be nice to be able to sidestep these questions altogether. One way to do that would be to take musical works to be concrete objects. In this paper, we defend a theory according to which musical works are concrete objects. In (...)
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  25. Comments on Varzi.Fabrice Correia - 2005 - Dialectica 59 (4):499–502.
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  26. The Limit Decision Problem and Four-Dimensionalism.Damiano Costa - 2017 - Vivarium 55 (1-3):199-216.
    I argue that medieval solutions to the limit decision problem imply four-dimensionalism, i.e. the view according to which substances that persist through time are extended through time as well as through space, and have different temporal parts at different times.
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  27. Do Four-Dimensionalists Have to Be Counterpart Theorists?George Djukic - 2004 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (2):292 – 311.
    In 'Four-Dimensional Objects' Peter van Inwagen gives two arguments for the claim that proponents of four-dimensionalism have to be counterpart theorists. Recently Jack Copeland, Heather Dyke, and Diane Proudfoot, echoing in part points made by Mark Heller in this journal in 1993, have sought to rebut one of van Inwagen's arguments. In this paper I shall criticize their discussion and by implication certain points made by Heller. In so doing I shall also rebut a possible objection to van Inwagen's second (...)
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  28. Endurantist and Perdurantist Accounts of Persistence.Maureen Donnelly - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 154 (1):27 - 51.
    In this paper, I focus on three issues intertwined in current debates between endurantists and perdurantists—(i) the dimension of persisting objects, (ii) whether persisting objects have timeless, or only time-relative, parts, and (iii) whether persisting objects have proper temporal parts. I argue that one standard endurantist position on the first issue is compatible with standard perdurantist positions on parthood and temporal parts. I further argue that different accounts of persistence depend on the claims about objects' dimensions and not on the (...)
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  29. Presentism/Eternalism and Endurantism/Perdurantism: Why the Unsubstantiality of the First Debate Implies That of the Second.Mauro Dorato - 2012 - Philosophia Naturalis 49 (1):25-41.
    The main claim that I want to defend in this paper is that the there are logical equivalences between eternalism and perdurantism on the one hand and presentism and endurantism on the other. By “logical equivalence” I mean that one position is entailed and entails the other. As a consequence of this equivalence, it becomes important to inquire into the question whether the dispute between endurantists and perdurantists is authentic, given that Savitt (2006) Dolev (2006) and Dorato (2006) have cast (...)
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  30. Duration in Relativistic Spacetime.Antony Eagle - 2010 - In Dean Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, volume 5. Oxford University Press. pp. 113-17.
    In ‘Location and Perdurance’ (2010), I argued that there are no compelling mereological or sortal grounds requiring the perdurantist to distinguish the molecule Abel from the atom Abel in Gilmore’s original case (2007). The remaining issue Gilmore originally raised concerned the ‘mass history’ of Adam and Abel, the distribution of ‘their’ mass over spacetime. My response to this issue was to admit that mass histories needed to be relativised to a way of partitioning the location of Adam/Abel, but that did (...)
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  31. Location and Perdurance.Antony Eagle - 2010 - In Dean Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, volume 5. Oxford Univerity Press. pp. 53-94.
    Recently, Cody Gilmore has deployed an ingenious case involving backwards time travel to highlight an apparent conflict between the theory that objects persist by perduring, and the thesis that wholly coincident objects are impossible. However, careful attention to the concepts of location and parthood that Gilmore’s cases involve shows that the perdurantist faces no genuine objection from these cases, and that the perdurantist has a number of plausible and dialectically appropriate ways to avoid the supposed conflict.
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  32. Reply to Stone on Counterpart Theory and Four-Dimensionalism.Antony Eagle - 2007 - Analysis 67 (2):159 - 162.
    Recently, Jim Stone has argued that counterpart theory is incompatible with the existence of temporal parts. I demonstrate that there is no such incompatibility.
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  33. Why Four-Dimensionalism Explains Coincidence.M. Eddon - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (4):721-728.
    In ?Does Four-Dimensionalism Explain Coincidence?? Mark Moyer argues that there is no reason to prefer the four-dimensionalist (or perdurantist) explanation of coincidence to the three-dimensionalist (or endurantist) explanation. I argue that Moyer's formulations of perdurantism and endurantism lead him to overlook the perdurantist's advantage. A more satisfactory formulation of these views reveals a puzzle of coincidence that Moyer does not consider, and the perdurantist's treatment of this puzzle is clearly preferable.
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  34. The Inelegance of Perdurantist Universalism.Nikk Effingham - unknown
    Universalism (the thesis that for any ys, those ys compose a further object) is an answer to the Special Composition Question. In the literature there are three arguments (the arguments from elegance) that are often relied upon, but rarely examined in-depth. I argue that these motivations cannot be had by the perdurantist, for to avoid a commitment to badly behaved superluminal objects perdurantists must answer the Proper Continuant Question. Any answer to that question necessarily ensures that there is a restricted (...)
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  35. Endurantism and Perdurantism.Nikk Effingham - 2012 - In Robert Barnard Neil Manson (ed.), Continuum Companion to Metaphysics. pp. 170.
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  36. Psychological Continuity and the Necessity of Identity.Robert Francescotti - 2010 - American Philosophical Quarterly 47 (4):337-350.
    In attempting to understand personal identity, it is common practice to imagine a person existing at some time t and a person existing at a time t* , and then to ask, What does it take for person x at t to be the same person as person y at t*?The Psychological Continuity Approach answers: there is a relation, R, of psychological continuity such that person x at t is the same person as person y at t* if and only (...)
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  37. Persistence in Minkowski Space-Time.Cord Friebe - unknown
    Under the eternalist hypothesis that objects or events exist temporally, but independently of being present two different views of persistence are on the market: Persisting objects endure if they are multiply located in time, and persisting objects perdure if they are singly located by having numerically different temporal parts. In the framework of the special theory of relativity, the metaphysics of persistence is confronted with peculiar difficulties. Things persist by being “wholly present” at more than one time; but what are (...)
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  38. Persistence in Minkowski Spacetime: The Irrelevance of the Endurance/Perdurance Distinction.Cord Friebe - unknown
    Under the eternalist hypothesis that objects or events exist independently of being present two different views of persistence are on the market: Persisting objects endure if they are multiply located in time, and persisting objects perdure if they are singly located by having numerically different temporal parts. Recently, several authors have argued that special relativity favours perdurantism over its endurantist rival. In my talk, I want to show that in fact the purported arguments are only those against endurantism, and that (...)
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  39. New Arguments for 'Intelligent Design'? Review Article on William A. Dembski, Being as Communion: A Metaphysics of Information. [REVIEW]Philippe Gagnon - 2015 - ESSSAT News and Reviews 25 (1):17-24.
    Critical notice assessing the use of information theory in the attempt to build a design inference, and to re-establish some aspects of the program of natural theology, as carried out in this third major monograph devoted to the subject of intelligent design theory by mathematician and philosopher William A. Dembski, after The Design Inference (1998) and No Free Lunch (2002).
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  40. Homunculi Are People Too! Lewis's Definition of Personhood Debugged.Cody Gilmore - 2017 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 5 (4).
    David Lewis defends the following "non-circular definition of personhood": "something is a continuant person if and only if it is a maximal R-interrelated aggregate of person-stages. That is: if and only if it is an aggregate of person-stages, each of which is R-related to all the rest (and to itself), and it is a proper part of no other such aggregate." I give a counterexample, involving a person who is a part of another, much larger person, with a separate mental (...)
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  41. Persistence and Location in Relativistic Spacetime.Cody Gilmore - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (6):1224-1254.
    How is the debate between endurantism and perdurantism affected by the transition from pre-relativistic spacetimes to relativistic ones? After suggesting that the endurance vs. perdurance distinction may run together a pair of cross-cutting distinctions, I discuss two recent attempts to show that the transition in question does serious damage to endurantism.
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  42. Time Travel, Coinciding Objects, and Persistence.Cody Gilmore - 2007 - In Dean Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, Vol. 3. Clarendon Press. pp. 177-198.
    Existing puzzles about coinciding objects can be divided into two types, corresponding to the manner in which they bear upon the endurantism v. perdurantism debate. Puzzles of the first type, which involve temporary spatial co-location, can be solved simply by abandoning endurantism in favor of perdurantism, whereas those of the second type, which involve career-long spatial co-location, remain equally puzzling on both views. I show that the possibility of backward time travel would give rise to a new type of puzzle. (...)
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  43. From Times to Worlds and Back Again: A Transcendentist Theory of Persistence.Alessandro Giordani & Damiano Costa - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (1):210-220.
    Until recently, an almost perfect parallelism seemed to hold between theories of identity through time and across possible worlds,as every account in the temporal case(endurantism,perdurantism, exdurantism) was mirrored by a twin account in the modal case (trans-world identity, identity-via-parts, identity-via-counterparts). Nevertheless, in the recent literature, this parallelism has been broken because of the implementation in the debate of the relation of location. In particular, endurantism has been subject to a more in-depth analysis, and different versions of it, corresponding to different (...)
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  44. Descartes on Persistence and Temporal Parts.Geoffrey Gorham - 2010 - In Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke & Harry Silverstein (eds.), Time and Identity. MIT Press.
    This chapter discusses the “real distinction” between the mind and the body and a demonstration of the immortality of the soul as demonstrated in Descartes’s Meditations. Early readers of Descartes’s work like Arnauld and Mersenne rejected the idea on the grounds that “it does not seem to follow from the fact that the mind is distinct from the body that it is incorruptible or immortal.” In light of this, Descartes devised a more detailed proof of immortality based on two assumptions (...)
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  45. 'Four-Dimensionalism' - analiza i interpretacja.Mariusz Grygianiec - 2007 - Filozofia Nauki 1.
    There are several faces of Four-Dimensionalism. Sometimes 4D-ism is formulated as the thesis that the material world is composed of spatial as well as temporal parts. Another version of 4D-ism states that persisting objects are extended over time in the same way that they are extended over space. Some Four-Dimensionalists defend the thesis that all objects persist by perduring i.e. by having different temporal parts at different times. Sometimes 4D-ism means the same as eternalism - the thesis that past and (...)
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  46. Endurantism, Perdurantism and Special Relativity.Steven D. Hales & Timothy A. Johnson - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (213):524–539.
    There are two main theories about the persistence of objects through time: endurantism and perdurantism. Endurantists hold that objects are three-dimensional, have only spatial parts, and wholly exist at each moment of their existence. Perdurantists hold that objects are four-dimensional, have temporal parts, and only partly exist at each moment of their existence. In this paper we argue that endurantism is poorly suited to describe the persistence of objects in a world governed by Special Relativity, and can accommodate a relativistic (...)
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  47. Names Introduced with the Help of Unsatisfied Sortal Predicates.Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - 2010 - Axiomathes 20 (4):511-514.
    In this paper I answer Aranyosi’s (Axiomathes 19(2):223–224, 2009) criticism of my “Is Phosphorus Hesperus?” (Axiomathes 19(1):101–102, 2009).
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  48. 4-D Objects and Disposition Ascriptions.Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - 2009 - Philosophical Papers 38 (1):35-72.
    Disposition ascription has been discussed a good deal over the last few decades, as has the revisionary metaphysical view of ordinary, persisting objects known as 'fourdimensionalism'. However, philosophers have not merged these topics and asked whether four-dimensional objects can be proper subjects of dispositional predicates. This paper seeks to remedy this oversight. It argues that, by and large, four-dimensional objects are not suited to take dispositional predicates.
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  49. Objects in Time: Studies of Persistence in B-Time.Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - 2009 - Dissertation, Lund University
    This thesis is about the conceptualization of persistence of physical, middle-sized objects within the theoretical framework of the revisionary ‘B-theory’ of time. According to the B-theory, time does not flow, but is an extended and inherently directed fourth dimension along which the history of the universe is ‘laid out’ once and for all. It is a widespread view among philosophers that if we accept the B-theory, the commonsensical ‘endurance theory’ of persistence will have to be rejected. The endurance theory says (...)
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  50. Critical Study of Four-Dimensionalism, by Theodore Sider, Oxford University Press 2001, ISBN 0 19 924443 X, Hardback.Katherine Hawley - unknown
    Four-Dimensionalism is a thorough, lively and forceful defence of the claim that “necessarily, every spatiotemporal object has a temporal part at every moment at which it exists” (59). The standard four-dimensionalist view is perdurance theory, according to which everyday things like boats are temporally extended. But Sider rejects perdurance theory, nicely disparaging it as the “worm view”, and he argues for the “stage view” version of fourdimensionalism instead. According to the stage view, everyday things like boats are instantaneous, and claims (...)
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