- Endurantism, roughly stated, is the view that material objects lack temporal extent and persist through time by “enduring” – that is, by being wholly present at each moment of their careers. Perdurantism is the opposing view that material objects persist by “perduring” – that is, by being temporally extended and having different temporal parts located at different times. In this paper I offer an argument against perdurantism, one based largely on premises that have been used in arguments against endurantism. Perdurantists can resist the argument, but not, I think, without weakening at least one of the relevant anti-endurantist arguments. In one way or another, then, this chapter is meant to alter the overall debate between endurantists and perdurantists to the benefit of the former.
- The heart of the chapter is the presentation of a new type of coincidence puzzle. A coincidence puzzle is an apparent counter-example to the following, widely accepted anti-coincidence principle:
It is impossible for numerically distinct material objects to coincide - that is, to be (i) wholly present in exactly the same location and (ii) composed, at some level of decomposition, of all the same parts, or all the same matter at the given location To solve such a puzzle, as I shall use the term, is to show that the case in question does not in fact constitute a genuine counter-example to the principle.
- Existing coincidence puzzles can be divided into two types, corresponding to the manner in which they bear upon the endurantism versus perdurantism debate. Puzzles of the first type (involving temporary spatial co-location) can be solved simply by abandoning endurantism in favour of perdurantism, whereas those of the second type (involving career-long spatial co-location) remain equally puzzling on both views. In this paper I show that if backward time travel is possible, then a third type of coincidence puzzle arises. Puzzles of this third type confront perdurantists, and can be solved simply by shifting to endurantism.
- The plan for this chapter is as follows. In Section 2 I introduce some new terminology and show how it applies to the older puzzles. In Section 3 I give two examples of the new type of puzzle. Finally, in Section 4, I present the argument against perdurantism and discuss a number of possible responses.
- Part III: Coincident Objects and Temporal Parts
- See Link for an electronic pre-print.
- I seem to have an electronic copy of the published chapter as well; a nicely-formatted pdf.
Footnote 1: I have omitted several useful footnotes, including one that excludes exdurantism from the discussion.
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