When do the folk think that material objects persist? Many metaphysicians have wanted a view which fits with folk intuitions, yet there is little agreement about what the folk intuit. I provide a range of empirical evidence which suggests that the folk operate with a teleological view of persistence: the folk tend to intuit that a material object survives alterations when its function is preserved. Given that the folk operate with a teleological view of persistence, I argue for (...) a debunking explanation of folk intuitions, concluding that metaphysicians should dismiss folk intuitions as tied into a benighted view of nature. (shrink)
Background and assumptions. Persistence and philosophy of time ; Atomism and composition ; Scope ; Some matters of methodology -- Persistence, location, and multilocation in spacetime. Endurance, perdurance, exdurance : some pictures ; More pictures ; Temporal modification and the "problem of temporary intrinsics" ; Persistence, location and multilocation in generic spacetime ; An alternative classification -- Classical and relativistic spacetime. Newtonian spacetime ; Neo-Newtonian (Galilean) spacetime ; Reference frames and coordinate systems ; Galilean transformations in spacetime (...) ; Special relativistic spacetime ; Length contraction and time dilation ; Invariant properties of special relativistic spacetime -- Persisting objects in classical spacetime. Enduring, perduring, and exduring objects in Galilean spacetime ; The argument from vagueness ; From minimal D-fusions to temporal parts ; Motivating a sharp cutoff ; Some objections and replies ; Implications -- Persisting objects in Minkowski spacetime. Enduring, perduring, and exduring objects in Minkowski spacetime ; Flat and curved achronal regions in Minkowski spacetime ; Early reflections on persisting objects in Minkowski spacetime : Quine and Smart ; "Profligate ontology"? ; Is achronal universalism tenable in Minkowski spacetime? ; "Crisscrossing" and immanent causation -- Coexistence in spacetime. The notion of coexistence ; Desiderata ; Coexistence in Galilean spacetime ; Coexistence in Minkowski spacetime : CASH ; Alexandrov-Stein present and Alexandrov-Stein coexistence ; AS-Coexistence v. CASH : symmetry, multigrade, and objectivity ; As-coexistence v. CASH : relevance ; The mixed past of coexistence ; No need in the extended now -- Strange coexistence? Coexistence and [email protected] ; The asymmetry thesis ; The absurdity thesis ; Collective CASH value of coexistence ; Collective [email protected] and coexistence in classical spacetime ; Collective [email protected] and coexistence in Minkowski spacetime ; Contextuality ; Chronological incoherence ; Some objections -- Shapes and other arrangements in Minkowski spacetime. How rigid is a granite block? ; Perspectives in space ; Perspectives in spacetime ; Are shapes intrinsic to objects? ; The causal objection ; The micro-reductive objection ; Pegs, boards, and shapes ; Perduring objects exist. (shrink)
In this paper, we argue for a novel three-dimensionalist solution to the problem of persistence, i.e. cross-temporal identity. We restrict the discussion of persistence to simple substances, which do not have other substances as their parts. The account of simple substances employed in the paper is a trope-nominalist strong nuclear theory, which develops Peter Simons' trope nominalism. Regarding the distinction between three dimensionalism and four dimensionalism, we follow Michael Della Rocca's formulation, in which 3D explains persistence in (...) virtue of same entities and 4D in virtue of distinct entities. SNT is a 3D'ist position because it accounts for the persistence of simple substances in virtue of diachronically identical ânuclearâ tropes. The nuclear tropes of a simple substance are necessary for it and mutually rigidly dependent but distinct. SNT explains qualitative change by tropes that are contingent to a simple substance. We show that it avoids the standard problems of 3D: temporal relativization of ontic predication, Bradley's regress and coincidence, fission and fusion cases. The temporal relativization is avoided because of the analysis of temporary parts that SNT gives in terms of temporal sub-location, which is atemporal partâwhole relation. (shrink)
There is a loud and persistent drum beat of support for schools, for citizenship, for diversity and inclusion, and increasingly for labor market readiness with very little critical attention to the assumptions underlying these agendas, let alone to their many internal contradictions. Accordingly, in this book I examine the philosophical, motivational, and practical challenges of education theory, policy, and practice in the twenty-first century. As I proceed, I do not neglect the historical, comparative international context so essential to better understanding (...) where we are, as well as what is attainable in terms of educational justice. I argue that we must constructively critique some of our most cherished beliefs about education if we are to save the hope of real justice from the rhetoric of imagined justice. (shrink)
How does an object persist through change? How can a book, for example, open in the morning and shut in the afternoon, persist through a change that involves the incompatible properties of being open and being shut? The goal of this reader is to inform and reframe the philosophical debate around persistence; it presents influential accounts of the problem that range from classic papers by W. V. O. Quine, David Lewis, and Judith Jarvis Thomson to recent work by contemporary (...) philosophers. The authors take on the question of persistence by examining three broad approaches: perdurantism, which holds that change over time is analogous to change over space; exdurantism, according to which identity over time is analogous to identity across possible worlds; and endurantism, which holds that ordinary objects persist by enduring. Each of these approaches appears to be coherent, but each also has its own metaphysical problems. Persistence includes papers that argue for perdurantism, exdurantism, or endurantism, as well as papers that explore some metaphysical difficulties challenging each account. In this way the collection allows readers to balance the trade-offs of each approach in terms of intuitiveness, theoretical attractiveness, and elegance.Contributors:Yuri Balashov, William Carter, Graeme Forbes, Sally Haslanger, Katherine Hawley, H. S. Hestevold, Mark Hinchliffe, Mark Johnston, Roxanne Marie Kurtz, David K. Lewis, Ned Markosian, D. H. Mellor, W. V. O. Quine, Theodore Sider, Richard Taylor, Judith Jarvis Thomson, Peter van Inwagen, Dean Zimmerman. (shrink)
It seems plausible to say that what changes an entity can or cannot survive depends on its persistence conditions, and that these depend, in turn, on its sortal kind. It might seem to follow that an entity cannot belong to two sortal kinds with potentially conflicting persistence conditions. Notoriously, though, this conclusion is denied by ‘contingent identity’ theorists, who hold, for example, that a permanently coincident statue and piece of clay are identical, although the persistence conditions associated (...) with the kinds statue and piece of clay are potentially conflicting. A clash with Leibniz’s Law is avoided by treating modal predicates as what Harold Noonan has called ‘Abelardian predicates’, as in the version of ‘inconstant’ counterpart theory developed by David Lewis. In addition to other difficulties, however, there is a question whether this ‘Abelardian’ theory does justice to the intuitions expressed in such statements as that the piece of clay could, while the statue could not, have survived a radical reshaping of its matter. I present an argument, which I call ‘the vacuous satisfaction argument’, for the conclusion that the theory does indeed fail to capture the significance of such de re modal statements. (shrink)
We have two aims in this paper. The first is to provide the reader with a critical guide to recent work on relativity and persistence by Balashov, Gilmore and others. Much of this work investigates whether endurantism can be sustained in the context of relativity. Several arguments have been advanced that aim to show that it cannot. We find these unpersuasive, and will add our own criticisms to those we review. Our second aim, which complements the first, is to (...) demarcate the most defensible form of relativistic endurantism. A recurring theme of this paper is that even those philosophers who do worry about relativity have not taken it seriously enough. (shrink)
Two separate research programs have revealed two different factors that feature in our judgments of whether some entity persists. One program—inspired by Knobe—has found that normative considerations affect persistence judgments. For instance, people are more inclined to view a thing as persisting when the changes it undergoes lead to improvements. The other program—inspired by Kelemen—has found that teleological considerations affect persistence judgments. For instance, people are more inclined to view a thing as persisting when it preserves its purpose. (...) Our goal in this paper is to determine what causes persistence judgments. Across four studies, we pit normative considerations against teleological considerations. And using causal modeling procedures, we find a consistent, robust pattern with teleological and not normative considerations directly causing persistence judgments. Our findings put teleology in the driver’s seat, while at the same time shedding further light on our folk notion of an object. (shrink)
Material objects persist through time and survive change. How do they manage to do so? What are the underlying facts of persistence? Do objects persist by being "wholly present" at all moments of time at which they exist? Or do they persist by having distinct "temporal segments" confined to the corresponding times? Are objects three-dimensional entities extended in space, but not in time? Or are they four-dimensional spacetime "worms"? These are matters of intense debate, which is now driven by (...) concerns about two major issues in fundamental ontology: parthood and location. It is in this context that broadly empirical considerations are increasingly brought to bear on the debate about persistence. Persistence and Spacetime pursues this empirically based approach to the questions. Yuri Balashov begins by setting out major rival views of persistence -- endurance, perdurance, and exdurance -- in a spacetime framework and proceeds to investigate the implications of Einstein's theory of relativity for the debate about persistence. His overall conclusion -- that relativistic considerations favour four-dimensionalism over three-dimensionalism -- is hardly surprising. It is, however, anything but trivial. Contrary to a common misconception, there is no straightforward argument from relativity to four-dimensionalism. The issues involved are complex, and the debate is closely entangled with a number of other philosophical disputes, including those about the nature and ontology of time, parts and wholes, material constitution, causation and properties, and vagueness. (shrink)
We argue that ecology in general and biodiversity and ecosystem function research in particular need an understanding of functions which is both ahistorical and evolutionarily grounded. A natural candidate in this context is Bigelow and Pargetter’s evolutionary forward-looking account which, like the causal role account, assigns functions to parts of integrated systems regardless of their past history, but supplements this with an evolutionary dimension that relates functions to their bearers’ ability to thrive and perpetuate themselves. While Bigelow and Pargetter’s account (...) focused on functional organization at the level of organisms, we argue that such an account can be extended to functional organization at the community and ecosystem levels in a way that broadens the scope of the reconciliation between ecosystem ecology and evolutionary biology envisioned by many BEF researchers. By linking an evolutionary forward-looking account of functions to the persistence-based understanding of evolution defended by Bouchard and others, and to the theoretical research on complex adaptive systems, we argue that ecosystems, by forming more or less resilient assemblages, can evolve even while they do not reproduce and form lineages. We thus propose a Persistence Enhancing Propensity account of role functions in ecology to account for this overlap of evolutionary and ecological processes. (shrink)
The ‘friends of temporal parts’ and their opponents disagree about how things persist through time. The former, who hold what is sometimes called a ‘4D’ theory of persistence, typically claim that all objects that last for any period of time are spread out through time in the same way that spatially extended objects are spread out through space — a different part for each region that the object fills. David Lewis calls this manner of persisting ‘perdurance’. The opposing, ‘3D’ (...) theory has it that at least some objects do not persist in this manner; they ‘endure’ through time by ‘being wholly present at more than one time’.1 A related dispute pits ‘presentists’ against ‘non-presentists’. Presentists hold that the only things that really exist are those that exist now, at the present moment; and nonpresentists believe in something like a ‘block-universe’ in which non-simultaneous objects and events nevertheless co-exist (in a tenseless or non-temporal sense). Of late, the relations between these four positions have come under considerable scrutiny.2 As Ned Markosian has pointed out, it would be surprising if commitment to a perdurance or endurance theory of persistence automatically foreclosed one’s options in the presentism—non-presentism debate. But, says Markosian, that is just what the standard formulations of the perdurance and endurance theories imply.3 David Lewis has set the terms of the debate; in his usage, someone who thinks that all persisting objects endure would be said to hold the following. (shrink)
What makes an object the same persisting individual over time? Philosophers and psychologists have both grappled with this question, but from different perspectives—philosophers conceptually analyzing the criteria for object persistence, and psychologists exploring the mental mechanisms that lead us to experience the world in terms of persisting objects. It is striking that the same themes populate explorations of persistence in these two very different fields—e.g. the roles of spatiotemporal continuity, persistence through property change, and cohesion violations. Such (...) similarities may reflect an underlying connection, in that psychological mechanisms of object persistence (especially relevant parts of mid-level visual object processing) may serve to underlie the intuitions about persistence that fuel metaphysical theories. This would be a way for cognitive science to join these two disparate fields, helping to explain the possible origins and reliability of some metaphysical intuitions, and perhaps leading to philosophical progress. (shrink)
This article discusses two arguments in favor of perdurance. The first is Sider’s argument from vagueness, “one of the most powerful” in favor of perdurantism. I make the observation that endurantists have principled grounds to claim that the argument is unsound, at least if endurance is formulated in locative rather than mereological terms. Having made this observation, I use it to emphasize a somewhat neglected difference between endurantists and perdurantists with respect to their views on material objects. These views, in (...) the case of endurantists, lead to a further, less than conclusive but nevertheless interesting argument against endurantism—the anti-fundamentality argument—which I discuss and tentatively endorse. That argument posits that endurantists must take location to be a fundamental relation, and that this has as a consequence the metaphysical possibility of some rather unwelcome scenarios. Perdurantists may avoid this consequence by denying that location is fundamental, perhaps by embracing supersubstantivalism. (shrink)
When one considers one's own persistence over time from the first-person perspective, it seems as if facts about one's persistence are "further facts," over and above facts about physical and psychological continuity. But the idea that facts about one's persistence are further facts is objectionable on independent theoretical grounds: it conflicts with physicalism and requires us to posit hidden facts about our persistence. This essay shows how to resolve this conflict using the idea that imagining from (...) the first-person point of view is a guide to centered possibility , a type of possibility analyzed in terms of centered worlds. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us Digg Reddit Technorati What's this? (shrink)
We show that the Bohmian approach in terms of persisting particles that move on continuous trajectories following a deterministic law can be literally applied to QFT. By means of the Dirac sea model – exemplified in the electron sector of the standard model neglecting radiation – we explain how starting from persisting particles, one is led to standard QFT employing creation and annihilation operators when tracking the dynamics with respect to a reference state, the so-called vacuum. Since on the level (...) of wave functions, both formalisms are mathematically equivalent, this proposal provides for an ontology of QFT that includes a dynamics of individual processes, solves the measurement problem and explains the appearance of creation and annihilation events. (shrink)
Many philosophers appeal to intuitions to support some philosophical views. However, there is reason to be concerned about this practice as scientific evidence has documented systematic bias in philosophically relevant intuitions as a function of seemingly irrelevant features (e.g., personality). One popular defense used to insulate philosophers from these concerns holds that philosophical expertise eliminates the influence of these extraneous factors. Here, we test this assumption. We present data suggesting that verifiable philosophical expertise in the free will debate-as measured by (...) a reliable and validated test of expert knowledge-does not eliminate the influence of one important extraneous feature (i.e., the heritable personality trait extraversion) on judgments concerning freedom and moral responsibility. These results suggest that, in at least some important cases, the expertise defense fails. Implications for the practice of philosophy, experimental philosophy, and applied ethics are discussed. (shrink)
The Persistence of Subjectivity examines several approaches to, and critiques of, the core notion in the self-understanding and legitimation of the modern, 'bourgeois' form of life: the free, reflective, self-determining subject. Since it is a relatively recent historical development that human beings think of themselves as individual centers of agency, and that one's entitlement to such a self-determining life is absolutely valuable, the issue at stake also involves the question of the historical location of philosophy. What might it mean (...) to take seriously Hegel's claim that philosophical reflection is always reflection on the historical 'actuality' of its own age? Discussing Heidegger, Gadamer, Adorno, Leo Strauss, Manfred Frank, and John McDowell, Robert Pippin attempts to understand how subjectivity arises in contemporary institutional practices such as medicine, as well as in other contexts such as modernism in the visual arts and in the novels of Marcel Proust. (shrink)
Yuri Balashov sets out major rival views of persistence--endurance, perdurance, and exdurance--in a spacetime framework and proceeds to investigate the implications of Einstein's theory of relativity for the debate about persistence. His overall conclusion--that relativistic considerations favour four-dimensionalism over three-dimensionalism--is hardly surprising. It is, however, anything but trivial. Contrary to a common misconception, there is no straightforward argument from relativity to four-dimensionalism. The issues involved are complex, and the debate is closely entangled with a number of other philosophical (...) disputes, including those about the nature and ontology of time, parts and wholes, material constitution, causation and properties, and vagueness. (shrink)
We show that the Bohmian approach in terms of persisting particles that move on continuous trajectories following a deterministic law can be literally applied to quantum field theory. By means of the Dirac sea model—exemplified in the electron sector of the standard model neglecting radiation—we explain how starting from persisting particles, one is led to standard QFT employing creation and annihilation operators when tracking the dynamics with respect to a reference state, the so-called vacuum. Since on the level of wave (...) functions, both formalisms are mathematically equivalent, this proposal provides for an ontology of QFT that includes a dynamics of individual processes, solves the measurement problem, and explains the appearance of creation and annihilation events. 1Bohmian Mechanics from Quantum Mechanics to Quantum Field Theory2The Dirac Sea Model3Equilibrium States and the Vacuum4Excitations of the Vacuum and the Fock Space Formalism5The Appearance of Particle Creations and Annihilations6The Merits of the Bohmian Approach. (shrink)
Both advocates and opponents of the animalist view that we are fundamentally biological organisms have typically assumed that animalism is incompatible with intuitive verdicts about cerebrum isolation and transplantation. It is argued here that this assumption is a mistake. Animalism, developed in a natural way, in fact strongly supports these intuitive verdicts. The availability of this attractive resolution of a central puzzle in the personal identity debate has been obscured by a range of factors, including the prevalence in contemporary metaphysics (...) of a certain conception of the nature of organisms. I end by explaining how the animalist can use intuitive verdicts, usually thought to present a difficulty for the view, as positive evidence for claims about the persistence conditions of the relevant kind of organism. (shrink)
How do ordinary objects persist through time and across possible worlds ? How do they manage to have their temporal and modal properties ? These are the questions adressed in this book which is a "guided tour of theories of persistence". The book is divided in two parts. In the first, the two traditional accounts of persistence through time (endurantism and perdurantism) are combined with presentism and eternalism to yield four different views, and their variants. The resulting views (...) are then examined in turn, in order to see which combinations are appealing and which are not. It is argued that the 'worm view' variant of eternalist perdurantism is superior to the other alternatives. In the second part of the book, the same strategy is applied to the combinations of views about persistence across possible worlds (trans-world identity, counterpart theory, modal perdurants) and views about the nature of worlds, mainly modal realism and abstractionism. Not only all the traditional and well-known views, but also some more original ones, are examined and their pros and cons are carefully weighted. Here again, it is argued that perdurance seems to be the best strategy available. (shrink)
Why do some epistemic objects persist despite undergoing serious changes, while others go extinct in similar situations? Scientists have often been careless in deciding which epistemic objects to retain and which ones to eliminate; historians and philosophers of science have been on the whole much too unreflective in accepting the scientists’ decisions in this regard. Through a re-examination of the history of oxygen and phlogiston, I will illustrate the benefits to be gained from challenging and disturbing the commonly accepted continuities (...) and discontinuities in the lives of epistemic objects. I will also outline two key consequences of such re-thinking. First, a fresh view on the (dis)continuities in key epistemic objects is apt to lead to informative revisions in recognized periods and trends in the history of science. Second, recognizing sources of continuity leads to a sympathetic view on extinct objects, which in turn problematizes the common monistic tendency in science and philosophy; this epistemological reorientation allows room for more pluralism in scientific practice itself. (shrink)
This paper asks whether persistence can be a matter of convention. It argues that in a rather unexciting de dicto sense persistence is indeed a matter of convention, but it rejects the notion that persistence can be a matter of convention in a more substantial de re sense. However, scenarios can be imagined that appear to involve conventional persistence of the latter kind. Since there are strong reasons for thinking that such conventionality is impossible, it is (...) desirable that our metaphysical-cum-semantic theories of persistence be able to account for such scenarios in terms of conventions of the first kind. Later parts of the article therefore investigate whether three of the currently most influential metaphysical-cum-semantic theories of persistence—the endurance theory, the stage theory, and the perdurance theory—can do this. Fortunately, for them, it turns out that all can, though some philosophers have disputed this. However, when we ask how they account for a typical case of “conventional persistence” some problematic features of the theories—having to do with reference, persistence conditions, how they relate, and the epistemology of persistence—are revealed. (shrink)
This paper develops an endurantist theory of persistence. The theory is built around one basic tenet, which concerns existence at a time – the relation between an object and the times at which that object is present. According to this tenet, which I call transcendentism, for an object to exist at a time is for it to participate in events that are located at that time. I argue that transcendentism is a semantically grounded and metaphysically fruitful. It is semantically (...) grounded, insofar as a semantic analysis of our temporal talk favors it over rivals. It is metaphysically fruitful, insofar as the theory of persistence that can be built around it – the transcendentist theory of persistence, to give it a name – requires neither temporal parts nor the problematic commitments to which all extant forms of endurantism are committed, such as the possibility of extended simples or multilocation. (shrink)
This paper considers recent heated debates led by Jerry A. Coyne andMichael J. Wade on issues stemming from the 1929–1962 R.A. Fisher-Sewall Wrightcontroversy in population genetics. William B. Provine once remarked that theFisher-Wright controversy is central, fundamental, and very influential.Indeed,it is also persistent. The argumentative structure of therecent (1997–2000) debates is analyzed with the aim of eliminating a logicalconflict in them, viz., that the two sides in the debates havedifferent aims and that, as such, they are talking past each other. (...) Given aphilosophical analysis of the argumentative structure of the debates,suggestions supportive of Wade's work on the debate are made that areaimed, modestly, at putting the persistent Fisher-Wright controversy on thecourse to resolution. (shrink)
Al is nearly finished sweeping his kitchen floor when he notices, on a counter, a corkscrew that should be put in a drawer. He intends to put the corkscrew away as soon as he is finished with the floor; but by the time he returns the broom and dustpan to the closet, he has forgotten what he intended to do. Al knows (or has a true belief) that there is something he intended to do now in the kitchen. He gazes (...) around the room and tries to recall what it was. Within a minute or so, without seeing the corkscrew, Al recalls. He puts the corkscrew away. Did Al have an intention to put the corkscrew away that persisted from the time he acquired the intention until he put the corkscrew away? That is one of my guiding questions in this article. (shrink)
Modal Plenitude—the view that, for every empirically adequate modal profile, there is an object whose modal profile it is—is held to be consistent with each of endurantist and perdurantist views of persistence. Here I show that, because “endurer” and “perdurer” are two substantially different kinds of entity, compossible with each other and consistent with empirical data, Modal Plenitude actually entails a third view about persistence that I call “Persistence Egalitarianism.” In every non-empty spacetime region there are two (...) persisting objects: one that endures through the temporal dimension of that region, and another that perdures through the region. Additionally, if the argument from anthropocentrism makes a strong case for Modal Plenitude, then an equally strong and parallel case supports Persistence Egalitarianism. I close with the meta-semantic consequences of persistence egalitarianism for ordinary object talk. (shrink)
The debate over persistence is often cast as a disagreement between two rival theories—the perdurantist theory that objects persist through time by having different temporal parts at different times, and the endurantist theory that objects persist through time by being wholly present at different times. This way of framing the debate over persistence involves both an important insight and an important error. Unfortunately, the error is often embraced and the insight is often ignored. This paper aims to correct (...) both of these mistakes, and thus clarify the debate over persistence. (shrink)
This paper considers a key point of contention between classical and Bayesian statistics that is brought to the fore when examining so-called ‘persistent experimenters’—the issue of stopping rules, or more accurately, outcome spaces, and their influence on statistical analysis. First, a working definition of classical and Bayesian statistical tests is given, which makes clear that (1) once an experimental outcome is recorded, other possible outcomes matter only for classical inference, and (2) full outcome spaces are nevertheless relevant to both the (...) classical and Bayesian approaches, when it comes to planning/choosing a test. The latter point is shown to have important repercussions. Here we argue that it undermines what Bayesians may admit to be a compelling argument against their approach—the Bayesian indifference to persistent experimenters and their optional stopping rules. We acknowledge the prima facie appeal of the pro-classical ‘optional stopping intuition’, even for those who ordinarily have Bayesian sympathies. The final section of the paper, however, provides three error theories that may assist a Bayesian in explaining away the apparent anomaly in their reasoning. (shrink)
Pace Benovsky's ‘Presentism and Persistence,’ presentism is compatible with perdurantism, tropes and bundle-of-universals theories of persisting objects. I demonstrate how the resemblance, causation and precedence relations that tie stages together can be accommodated within an ersatzer presentist framework. The presentist account of these relations is then used to delineate a presentist-friendly account of the inter-temporal composition required for making worms out of stages. The defense of presentist trope theory shows how properties with indexes other than t may be said (...) to exist at t. This involves an account of how times other than t exist at t, and how times may be multiply located at any given time. Benovsky's objection to bundles of universals is shown to assume that a bundle of properties must have the properties of its element properties. (shrink)
Plausibly, if an object persists through time, then its later existence must be caused by its earlier existence. Many theists endorse a theory of continuous creation, according to which God is the sole cause of a creature's existence at a given time. The conjunction of these two theses rather unfortunately implies that no object distinct from God persists at all. What strategies for resolving this difficulty are available? (Published Online April 7 2006).
Katherine Hawley explores and compares three theories of persistence -- endurance, perdurance, and stage theories - investigating the ways in which they attempt to account for the world around us. Having provided valuable clarification of its two main rivals, she concludes by advocating stage theory.
How is the debate between endurantism and perdurantism affected by the transition from pre-relativistic spacetimes to relativistic ones? After suggesting that the endurance vs. perdurance distinction may run together a pair of cross-cutting distinctions, I discuss two recent attempts to show that the transition in question does serious damage to endurantism.
This paper attempts to show that contextualism cannot adequately handle all versions of ‘The Lottery Paradox.” Although the application of contextualist rules is meant to vindicate the intuitive distinction between cases of knowledge and non-knowledge, it fails to do so when applied to certain versions of “The Lottery Paradox.” In making my argument, I first briefly explain why this issue should be of central importance for contextualism. I then review Lewis’ contextualism before offering my argument that the lottery paradox persists (...) on all contextualist accounts. Although I argue that the contextualist does not fare well, hope nevertheless remains. For, on Lewis’ behalf, I offer what I take to be the best solution for the contextualist and argue that once this solution is adopted, contextualism will be in a better position to handle the lottery paradox than any other substantive epistemological theory. (shrink)
We argue that there is an interesting modal analogue of temporal persistence, namely modal persistence, and an interesting modal analogue of time travel, namely modal travel. We explicate each of these notions and then argue that there are plausible conditions under which some ordinary objects modally persist. We go on to consider whether it is plausible that any modally persistent objects also modally travel.
Based on the theoretical analysis of self-consciousness concepts, we hypothesized that the spatio-temporal pattern of functional connectivity within the default-mode network (DMN) should persist unchanged across a variety of different cognitive tasks or acts, thus being task-unrelated. This supposition is in contrast with current understanding that DMN activated when the subjects are resting and deactivated during any attention-demanding cognitive tasks. To test our proposal, we used, in retrospect, the results from our two early studies ([Fingelkurts, 1998] and [Fingelkurts et al., (...) 2003]). In both studies for the majority of experimental trails we indeed found a constellation of operationally synchronized cortical areas (indexed as DMN) that was persistent across all studied experimental conditions in all subjects. Furthermore, we found three major elements comprising this DMN: two symmetrical occipito-parieto-temporal and one frontal spatio-temporal patterns. This new data directly supports the notion that DMN has a specific functional connotation – it provides neurophysiologic basis for self-processing operations, namely first-person perspective taking and an experience of agency. -/- . (shrink)
I claim that, if persisting objects have temporal parts, then there are non-supervenient relations between those temporal parts. These are relations which are not determined by intrinsic properties of the temporal parts. I use the Kripke-Armstrong 'rotating homogeneous disc' argument in order to establish this claim, and in doing so I defend and develop that argument. This involves a discussion of instantaneous velocity, and of the causes and effects of rotation. Finally, I compare alternative responses to the rotating disc argument, (...) and consider the implications of my arguments for the doctrines of Humean Supervenience and unrestricted mereology. (shrink)
On the issue of abortion, Ireland and Poland have been among the most conservative countries in Europe. Their legal and cultural approaches to this issue have been deeply influenced by the institution of the Catholic Church and its purported role as a defender of an authentic national identity. However, their political climates for abortion reform are increasingly divergent: Ireland has liberalised its abortion law substantially since 2018, while Poland is moving towards further criminalisation with the repeated introduction of restrictive laws (...) in parliament. Both have seen active pro-choice movements who mobilise for reform and widespread non-compliance with their restrictive abortion laws, but the policy impact of these trends varies significantly. What accounts for this difference? This article draws on comparative analysis of Ireland and Poland to assess their divergent trajectories on abortion reform, arguing that the most significant driver of change between the two is the disparity in influence of the Catholic Church on politics and policymaking. (shrink)
Should you care less about your distant future? What about events in your life that have already happened? How should the passage of time affect your planning and assessment of your life? Most of us think it is irrational to ignore the future but harmless to dismiss the past. But this book argues that rationality requires temporal neutrality.
For two ideally rational agents, does learning a finite amount of shared evidence necessitate agreement? No. But does it at least guard against belief polarization, the case in which their opinions get further apart? No. OK, but are rational agents guaranteed to avoid polarization if they have access to an infinite, increasing stream of shared evidence? No.
The thesis revolves around the following questions. What is time? Is time tensed or tenseless? Do things endure or perdure, i.e. do things persist by being wholly present at many times, or do they persist by having temporal parts? Do causes bring their effects into existence, or are they only correlated with each other? Within a realist approach to metaphysics, the author claims that the tensed view of time, the endurance view of persistence, and the production view of causality (...) naturally combine into what is called the dynamic view of temporal reality, and that the tenseless view of time, the perdurance view of persistence, and the correlation view of causality naturally combine into what is called the static view of temporal reality. The author argues in favour of a dynamic view. During the discussion a number of metaphysical problems are addressed. First, it is argued that the charges that the dynamic view is contradictory, made by J.M.E. McTaggart and David Lewis, are viciously circular. Secondly, it is argued that the static view cannot account for change, and deprives metaphysics of essential means to provide natural explanations to empirical phenomena. Thirdly, the author presents a novel account of the nature of necessary causal production. He suggests that the traditional conception of causes as essentially being external to the effects should be abandoned, and that causal production instead should be explicated in terms of reciprocal interactions between coexistent substances. (shrink)
In this paper I consider several versions of the argument from evil against the existence of a God who is omniscient, omnipotent and wholly good and raise some objections to them. Then I offer my own version of the argument from evil that says that if God exists, nothing happens that he should have prevented from happening and that he should have prevented the brutal rape and murder of a certain little girl if he exists. Since it was not prevented, (...) God does not exist. My conclusion rests on the claim that no outweighing good was served by allowing that murder, or any other instance of comparable evil, to occur. I take up the objection that my argument moves illicitly from apparently pointless suffering to the claim that there is reason to believe that there is pointless suffering. I offer an example to show that the existence of apparently pointless suffering counts to some extent against the existence of God and to show that no basic belief that God exists that rests on certain sorts of grounds can remain justified in the face of apparently pointless suffering. (shrink)
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