Relativity and Three Four‐dimensionalisms

Philosophy Compass 11 (2):102-120 (2016)
Authors
Cody Gilmore
University of California, Davis
Damiano Costa
University Of Italian Switzerland
Claudio Calosi
Université de Genève
Abstract
Relativity theory is often said to support something called ‘the four-dimensional view of reality’. But there are at least three different views that sometimes go by this name. One is ‘spacetime unitism’, according to which there is a spacetime manifold, and if there are such things as points of space or instants of time, these are just spacetime regions of different sorts: thus space and time are not separate manifolds. A second is the B-theory of time, according to which the past, present, and future are all equally real and there is nothing metaphysically special about the present. A third is perdurantism, according to which persisting material objects are made up of different temporal parts located at different times. We sketch routes from relativity to unitism and to the B-theory. We then discuss some routes to perdurantism, via the B-theory and via unitism
Keywords Special Relativity  General Relativity  Time  Spacetime  Persistence  Presentism  Eternalism  Temporal Parts
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Reprint years 2017
DOI 10.1111/phc3.12308
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References found in this work BETA

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Citations of this work BETA

Persistence and Location in Relativistic Spacetime.Cody Gilmore - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (6):1224-1254.
Presentism and Actualism.Harold W. Noonan - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-9.
Lewis, Change and Temporary Intrinsics.Mario Alai - 2016 - Axiomathes 26 (4):467-487.

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