Erkenntnis 20 (3):281 - 293 (1983)

Frederick Schmitt
Indiana University, Bloomington
Despite important similarities, events differ from states of affairs. Recent theories of events (Davidson's, Kim's) have ignored the distinction, preferring to focus on relations of composition between events and states, indifferently conceived, and properties, objects, and times. It might be proposed, however, that events and states can be distinguished by their composition. I argue against a compositional approach, in favor of a modal approach, on which events are distinguished from states in virtue of being essentially dynamic. This view locates the difference between events and states in their different existential statuses. While the view neither endorses nor forecloses dependency relations between events, states, and objects, it offers ways to do some of the explanatory work that recent theories assign to composition relations.
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DOI 10.1007/BF00166390
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