Transient things and permanent stuff

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):147 – 166 (2010)
A view of individuals as constituted of quantities of matter, both understood as continuants enduring over time, is elaborated in some detail. Constitution is a three-place relation which can't be collapsed to identity because of the place-holder for a time and because individuals and quantities of matter have such a radically different character. Individuals are transient entities with limited lifetimes, whereas quantities are permanent existents undergoing change in physical and chemical properties from time to time. Coincidence, considered as a matter of occupying the same place, is developed, alongside sameness of constitutive matter, as a criterion of identity for individuals. Quantities satisfy the mereological criterion of identity, applicable to entities subject to mereological relations and operations such as regions of space and intervals of time. A time-dependent analogue of mereological parthood is defined for individuals, in terms of which analogues of the other mereological relations can be defined. But it is argued that there is no analogue of the mereological operation of summation for individuals
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DOI 10.1080/00048400902739602
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