The Frustrating Problem For Four-Dimensionalism

Philosophical Studies 165 (3):1097-1115 (2013)

Authors
A. P. Taylor
North Dakota State University
Abstract
I argue that four-dimensionalism and the desire satisfaction account of well-being are incompatible. For every person whose desires are satisfied, there will be many shorter-lived individuals (‘person-stages’ or ‘subpersons’) who share the person’s desires but who do not exist long enough to see those desires satisfied; not only this, but in many cases their desires are frustrated so that the desires of the beings in whom they are embedded as proper temporal parts may be fulfilled. I call this the frustrating problem for four-dimensionalism. In the first half of the paper I lay the groundwork for understanding the frustrating problem, and then in the second half, I will examine six possible responses to the frustrating problem on behalf of the four-dimensionalist, (i) the Parfit (1984) inspired claim that identity is not what matters, (ii) the personal pronoun revisionism of Noonan (2010), (iii) the indirect concern account of Hudson (2001), (iv) the sensible stages account of Lewis (1986), (v) a multiple-concepts account of desire satisfaction, and (vi) a No Desire View according to which subpersons have no mental states and thus no desires to frustrate. I argue that none of these solutions will help the four-dimensionalist; she does better to reject the desire satisfaction theory, while the defender of the desire satisfaction theory does better to reject four-dimensionalism.
Keywords Well-Being  Four-Dimensionalism  Ethics  Metaphysics  Meta-ethics
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Reprint years 2013
DOI 10.1007/s11098-012-0009-2
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References found in this work BETA

Word and Object.W. QUINE - 1960 - MIT Press.
Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Mental Reality.Galen Strawson - 1994 - MIT Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Four-Dimensionalism, Evil, and Christian Belief.R. T. Mullins - 2014 - Philosophia Christi 16 (1):117-137.
The Frustrating Problem For Four-Dimensionalism.A. P. Taylor - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (3):1097-1115.

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