Eternalism and the Temporal Content of Persistence
Friebe (Cord)
Source: Philosophia Naturalis, 2012
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Introduction

  1. The metaphysics of persistence and the problem of change have recently attracted philosophers of spacetime physics.
  2. The intuition is that relativity, especially special relativity (SR), confronts them with peculiar difficulties, challenges certain views like endurantism, and adds fruitful aspects to the debate.
  3. I am in doubt on that: I intend to argue that, given eternalism, the different views of persistence and change are on a par for Minkowski spacetime.
  4. The problem, however, is that the concept of “eternalism” or the “block view” is ambiguous if applied to spacetime theories: There are, I think, essentially two different views of the block universe; a tenseless but temporal view on the one hand and a timeless one on the other.
  5. In the first part I will spell out this difference.
  6. The second part presupposes the temporal tenseless block universe view and argues with this underlying eternalist hypothesis that perdurantism1 is as “dynamical” as endurantism2 and therefore equally adequate (or, of course, equally inappropriate) for SR.
  7. So, in fact, it is only argued that, given the temporal block universe view, the different views of persistence and change are on a par, but I strongly suggest that this is the more interesting view. Therefore the timeless view is out of consideration in the second part of the paper.


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