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Miller, Kristie, , . Ought a four-dimensionalist to believe in temporal parts?
2009, Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39(4): 619-646.
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Added by: Emily Paul, Contributed by:

Abstract: This paper presents the strongest version of a non-perdurantist four-dimensionalism: a theory according to which persisting objects are four-dimensionally extended in space-time, but not in virtue of having maximal temporal parts. The aims of considering such a view are twofold. First, to evaluate whether such an account could provide a plausible middle ground between the two main competitor accounts of persistence: three-dimensionalism and perdurantist four-dimensionalism. Second, to see what light such a theory sheds on the debate between these two competitor theories. I conclude that despite prima facie reasons to suppose that non-perdurantist four-dimensionalism might be a credible alternative to either other account of persistence, ultimately the view is unsuccessful. The reasons for its failure illuminate the sometimes stagnant debate between three-dimensionalists and perdurantists, providing new reasons to prefer a perdurantist metaphysics.

Comment: This would be useful in particular as either i) a set reading for an advanced UG or MA metaphysics course, where students have been taught (e.g. in the lecture) about endurantism or perdurantism, or ii) as a secondary reading for such a course, because of how it examines further beyond the ‘four-dimensionalists are perdurantists; three-dimensionalists are endurantists’ categories.

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