Temporal Parts and the Possibility of Change
Oderberg (David)
Source: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (2004): 686-708
Paper - Abstract

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Philosophers Index Abstract

    Things change. If anything counts as a datum of metaphysics, that does. Hence any correct theory of persistence must be consistent with the existence of change. Yet temporal part theory, alias four-dimensionalism, does not satisfy this basic requirement. First I outline the theory in its standard form. I then show why, contra Mark Heller, there can be no argument for temporal parts based on the Indiscernibility of Identicals1, which itself presupposes facts of identity rather than grounds them. Nor does David Lewis's so-called 'problem of temporary intrinsics2' give any support to four-dimensionalism. As far as the semantics of change goes, I advocate (as against adverbialism and relationalism) 'sententialism': temporal expressions such as 'at t' or 'from t1 to t2' operate on whole sentences and may not be dropped from sentences expressing change without thereby entailing contradiction. Finally, although not every argument for the inconsistency of four-dimensionalism and change succeeds, I argue, via a discussion of Lombard and van Inwagen, that there is indeed such an inconsistency: temporal part theory is a replacement theory, whereby nothing ever does, literally, change

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