Temporal Mereology

Dissertation, State University of New York at Buffalo (2000)

Berit Brogaard
University of Miami
This work explores the problem of the persistence of objects through change, given the assumption that objects are three-dimensional entities; and the continuation of events through time, given the assumption that events are four-dimensional entities. My main concern is to provide an informative metaphysical grounding of temporal continuation by identifying the primitive relations and properties into which this concept can be analyzed. My thesis is that entities a and b can be said to be the same three-dimensional object if a and b stand to each other in the relation of temporal continuation. a and b stand to each other in the relation of immediate temporal continuation, if they stand to each other in the relation of spatio-temporal continuity, they have the same essential parts, and they share a part in common. The parts of events also stand to each other in relations of temporal continuation, but they do not change across time and they need not stand to each other in the relation of spatio-temporal continuity. I propose a formal ontology of both objects and events, based on the primitive concepts of parthood and temporal continuation
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