In Scientific Challenges to Common Sense Philosophy. London, UK: (forthcoming)

Yuri Balashov
University of Georgia
Debates about material coincidence tend to start with common-sense intuitions but quickly leave them behind and lead to highly problematic conclusions. Reconciling the latter with common sense is the next stage in the process, which often requires revision of some of the initial beliefs and has been used to adjudicate many rather abstract and technical proposals in the metaphysics of composition and persistence, ranging from natural (constitutionalism) to radical (nihilism). I have no disagreement with this overall strategy: theories do need to turn abstract at some point, move beyond common sense, and eventually force upon us interesting, novel, and often counterintuitive revisions in our overall conceptual scheme. This applies to all theoretical areas, and contemporary metaphysics is no exception. But while the latter is widely regarded as being quite extreme in this respect, I want to argue that, in one sense, it is not extreme enough. I do it by developing a new case of material coincidence that is initially motivated not by common sense but by physical considerations, and is not susceptible to any of the standard solutions. One lesson of science is its ability to expand our imagination beyond the limits of common sense. This may have importance for metaphysics too.
Keywords material coincidence  relativity theory  time
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