Endurantism, Perdurantism and Special Relativity
Hales (Steven D.) & Johnson (Timothy A.)
Source: Philosophical Quarterly, 2003, Vol. 53 Issue 213, p524, 16p
Paper - Abstract

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Philosophers Index Abstract

  1. There are two main theories about the persistence of objects through time.
    1. Endurantists1 hold that objects are three-dimensional, have only spatial parts, and wholly exist at each moment of their existence.
    2. Perdurantists2 hold that objects are four-dimensional, have temporal parts, and exist only partly at each moment of their existence.
  2. We argue that endurantism3 is poorly suited to describe the persistence of objects in a world governed by special relativity, and it can accommodate a relativistic world only at a high price not worth paying.
  3. Perdurantism4, on the other hand, fits beautifully with our current scientific understanding of the world. We use only the implications of the Lorentz transformations, without appeal to geometrical interpretations, dimensional analogies or auxiliary premises like temporal eternalism.

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