This pseudo-Paper is intended as the mechanism to record time spent on the Note 'Endurantism' during my Thesis research, as from 2011. Click here for Note.
Write-up1 (as at 15/10/2017 15:15:50): Endurantism
- Endurantism is the traditional account of persistence, that doesn’t invoke the metaphysics of temporal parts.
- What follows is a modified version of a write-up3 of the relevant section of "Kurtz (Roxanne) - Introduction to Persistence: What’s the Problem?".
- Kurtz introduces the acronym MET for Metaphysics of Enduring Things. The contrasting acronym is MTP for the Metaphysics of Temporal Parts - that objects are said to have. These exist only instantaneously, and are otherwise known as Stages or Time-Slices. A duck – according to MTP – is wholly4 or partly constituted by temporal parts.
- Note that there are two forms of MTP – Perdurantism5 and Exdurantism6 – and (says Kurtz) their motivation7 – and that of MTP itself – comes from how well either of these accounts for persistence.
- Perdurantism and Exdurantism share a metaphysics of temporal parts, which Endurantism claims ordinary things lack. Each maintains the tension between the three non-negotiable theses8 by sacrificing at least one “intuitively and philosophically appealing” metaphysical claim on persistence. Kurtz sees this as the “real problem of persistence”.
- According to MET, at least some9 objects endure – namely, that a numerically identical object is wholly present at different times.
- For both MTP and MET, objects may have temporal parts. So, the existence of stages or a space-time worm10 is not denied by MET.
- Neither a space-time worm nor a stage is an enduring thing, as neither is wholly present at different times. Nevertheless, says Kurtz11, MET does not entail the claim that ordinary objects lack temporal parts.
- Endurantists claim that ordinary objects persist by enduring, that is, that identity over time is strict identity between objects wholly present at different times. Change is the holding of incompatible properties by objects identical over time. So far seems to be common sense12.
- To avoid the contradiction of an object having incompatible properties, endurantists adopt temporally mediated property instantiation, whereby temporal facts (whether of time or tense) external to the object mediate the instantiation of incompatible properties without an appeal to temporal parts. Thus, an ordinary object persists through change and both alters and survives. What has to be given up is the “just having” of properties. The question seems to be how important the having of properties only mediated by internal facts is.
- There are various implementations of endurantism. Those in "Haslanger (Sally) & Kurtz (Roxanne), Eds. - Persistence : Contemporary Readings" are13:-
- Kurtz thinks that the introduction of time or tense into property instantiation creates four potential problems14:-
- She thinks it irrelevant what the time is to whether an object has an intrinsic property or not.
- Issues like Bradley’s Regress (to be discussed under the head of Temporary Intrinsics15) threaten our understanding of how a property can be predicated of an object at all.
- Indexing properties to times makes them seem like different16 properties, and so gets rid of the prima facie problem of inconsistent properties too easily.
- Given the definition of change, then if the properties aren’t incompatible, why do we have change at all?
- A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
- "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Identity Across Time: A Defense of Three-Dimensionalism", Baker
- "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Three-dimensionalism defended", Baker
- "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Three-Dimensionalism Rescued: A Brief Reply to Michael Della Rocca", Baker
→ Reply to "Della Rocca (Michael) - Primitive Persistence and the Impasse between Three Dimensionalism and Four-Dimensionalism",
- "Barker (Stephen) & Dowe (Phil) - Endurance is paradoxical", Barker+Dowe17
- "Forrest (Peter) - Endurance and Fatalism", Forrest
- "Haslanger (Sally) - Endurance and Temporary Intrinsics", Haslanger
- "Haslanger (Sally) - Humean Supervenience and Enduring Things", Haslanger
- "Hawthorne (John) - Three-Dimensionalism", Hawthorne
- "Hofweber (Thomas) - How to Endure", Hofweber
- "Lowe (E.J.) - Vagueness and Endurance", Lowe
- "Merricks (Trenton) - Endurance, Psychological Continuity, and the Importance of Personal Identity", Merricks
- "Rosenkrantz (Gary) - An Epistemic Argument for Enduring Human Persons", Rosenkrantz
- "Stone (Jim) - Why counterpart theory and three-dimensionalism are incompatible", Stone18
- "Teller (Paul) - Against Overlap and Endurance", Teller
- This is mostly a place-holder19.
- This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (15/10/2017 15:15:50).
- Link to Latest Write-Up Note.
- A number of my philosophical Notes are “promissory notes” currently only listing the books and papers (if any) I possess on the topic concerned.
- I’ve decided to add some text – whether by way of motivation, or something more substantive – for all these identified topics related to my Thesis.
- As I want to do this fairly quickly, the text may be confused or show surprising ignorance.
- The reader (if such exists) will have to bear with me, and display the principle of charity while this footnote exists.
- It seems odd to think of a duck as being wholly constituted by a single temporal part, but this just is the exdurantist claim.
Footnote 8: These are:-
- I had thought the motivation came from the need to explain conundrums like Fission, but it seems there are philosophical difficulties with MET (the problem of Temporary Intrinsics).
- Consistency: the same thing cannot have incompatible properties. Follows either from the law of non-contradiction or from Leibniz’s Law.
- Change: Change involves incompatible properties.
- Persistence: Objects persist through change.
- This sounds like an existence-claim, but we let it pass.
- Though the worm is not an “ordinary thing”, but (presumably) a collection of momentary stages, which are themselves not ordinary things.
Footnote 12: I need to put the following footnote somewhere, so here goes: Footnote 13:
- This sounds wrong as far as ordinary objects are concerned – I need to check what the endurantists say on this.
- Presumably, these chapters present, but don’t necessarily support, endurantism.
- Presumably for MET only. I’m not hugely convinced by these – and Kurtz admits she’s only gestured at them to get them on the table.
Footnote 17: Footnote 18:
- And, if they are different properties it (to my mind) obscures what makes Red-at-T1 and Red-at-T2 both instances of Red.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018
- Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)