- Some traditional arguments for four-dimensionalism are weak: denying four-dimensionalism
→ Does not prohibit the application of modern logic to natural language,
→ Does not imply the A-theory of time, and
→ Is consistent with special relativity.
- Others have some force but are inconclusive:
→ The argument from analogies between time and space, and
→ Lewis's argument from temporary intrinsics1.
- Some new arguments fare better.
- Only four-dimensionalists can admit certain (admittedly exotic) possibilities involving timeless objects and time travel2 into one's own past.
- Either substantivalism or relationalism about space-time is true. Given substantivalism (and a sensible, flexible theory of de re modal3 predication), one might as well identify continuants with regions of space-time, which have temporal parts. Alternatively, one could identify continuants with instantaneous slices of space-time and employ temporal counterpart theory; either way, we have a four-dimensionalist metaphysics of continuants. On the other hand, relationalism about space-time cannot be made to work without temporal parts. So either way, we have an argument for four-dimensionalism.
- It can never be vague how many objects exist; if temporal parts do not exist then a restrictive account of which filled regions of space-time contain objects must be given; but no such account can be given that is plausible and non-vague.
- Russell's argument from parsimony – 75
- The argument from logic – 76
- The A-theory of time is incoherent – 78
- Four-dimensionalism and special relativity – 79
- Space and time are analogous – 87
- The problem of temporary intrinsics4 – 92
- Arguments from exotica – 98
- The argument from spacetime – 110
- The argument from vagueness – 120
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018
- Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)