Probabilities and temporal parts

Acta Analytica 17 (1):39-52 (2002)
Adopting temporal parts theory is the most popular way of addressing a host of puzzles about diachronic identity. For example, it is not obvious how I am the same person as the baby who shared my name. With the theory, sameness of person, e.g., consists in being comprised by the same temporally extended, four-dimensional object. However, temporal parts theory has unacceptable consequences for notions of freedom and probability. I show that the only acceptable reading of four-dimensionalism entails that the four dimensional object that is me, say, already exists in its entirety. This entails that all of my future properties are already set. This nearly Spinozistic result robs us of familiar notions of choice and possibility. I argue that these notions are more central to our thinking than temporal parts theory, and that on these grounds we must look elsewhere for solutions to our questions about identity across time.
Keywords Temporal Parts  Personal Identity  Probability  Four Dimensionalism
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DOI 10.1007/BF03177506
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References found in this work BETA
W. V. Quine (1982). Methods of Logic. Harvard University Press.
Robert Stalnaker (1986). Counterparts and Identity. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 11 (1):121--40.

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