Concrete Particulars II: Persistence Through Time
Loux (Michael)
Source: Loux - Metaphysics - A Contemporary Introduction, Second Edition, 2002, Chapter 6
Paper - Abstract

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  1. There are two accounts of what it is for a concrete particular to persist through time: endurantism1 and perdurantism2. The endurantist3 claims that for a concrete particular to persist through time is for it to exist wholly and completely at different times. The perdurantist4, by contrast, denies that it is possible for numerically one and the same concrete particular to exist at different times. On this view, a concrete particular is an aggregate or whole made up of different temporal parts, each existing at its own time; and for a particular to persist from one time to another is for it to have different temporal parts existing at those different times.
  2. Endurantist5 accounts of persistence are typically associated with a presentist account of time, where only what exists in the present is real; whereas perdurantism6 is typically associated with an eternalist conception of time. On this view, time is just another dimension on a par with the three spatial dimensions; and all times and their contents are equally real.
  3. Since perdurantism7 appears to involve a rejection of our common-sense picture of the world, perdurantists8 have felt the need to argue for their view. Their arguments typically focus on the concept of change. One important argument here is that a perdurantist9, but not an endurantist10 account enables us to provide a consistent characterization of a particular's change in its properties. Another is that perdurantism11, but not endurantism12 can give a satisfactory account of one kind of change - change in parts. Endurantists13 challenge these arguments; and the interchange between endurantists14 and perdurantists15 on these issues represents one of the central debates in current metaphysics.

  1. Two theories of persistence - endurantism16 and perdurantism17
  2. Two theories of time - presentism and eternalism
  3. The ontology of perdurantism18
  4. An argument for perdurantism19 - change in properties
  5. A second argument for perdurantism20 - change in parts


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