Growing Individuals and Intrinsic Properties

Most people who believe in temporal parts believe that the referents of our ordinary referring terms, like Bill Clinton, or that table, are fusions of temporal parts from past, present and future times. Call these fusions worms, and the theory that the referents of ordinary referring terms (ordinary objects) the worm theory. Buying the metaphysical theory of temporal parts does not immediately imply that we must buy the worm theory. Theodore Sider (1996, 2000), for example, has suggested that these ordinary referring terms just pick out a single, instantaneous, temporal part. Sider’s theory, called the stage theory, solves some pressing philosophical problems, including the problem of temporary intrinsics. But the stage theory has several difficulties of its own, especially what I will call the problem of long-term intrinsics. I argue for a rival theory, the growing individuals theory. On this theory, the referents of our ordinary referring terms have past and present temporal parts, but not future temporal parts. This theory best accounts for our intuitions about which intrinsic properties ordinary objects have.
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