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

A. P. Taylor
North Dakota State University
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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DOI 10.1007/s11098-012-0009-2
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References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Word and Object.Willard van Orman Quine - 1960 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Wiley-Blackwell.

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Citations of this work BETA

Temporal Parts.Katherine Hawley - 2004/2010 - Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy.
The Frustrating Problem For Four-Dimensionalism.A. P. Taylor - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (3):1097-1115.
Four-Dimensionalism, Evil, and Christian Belief.Ryan Mullins - 2014 - Philosophia Christi 16 (1):117-137.

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