Endurantism, Perdurantism and Special Relativity

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Abstract:

There are two main theories about the persistence of objects through time. Endurantists hold that objects are three-dimensional, have only spatial parts, and wholly exist at each moment of their existence. Perdurantists hold that objects are four-dimensional, have temporal parts, and exist only partly at each moment of their existence. We argue that endurantism 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. Perdurantism, 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.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9213.00329

Affiliations: 1: Bloomsburg University, Pennsylvania, USA 2: Rudolph Technologies Inc., New Jersey, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2003

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