How do things persist? Are material objects spread out through time just as they are spread out through space? Or is temporal persistence quite different from spatial extension? This key question lies at the heart of any metaphysical exploration of the material world, and it plays a crucial part in debates about personal identity and survival. This book explores and compares three theories of persistence — endurance, perdurance, and stage theories — investigating the ways in which they attempt to account for the world around us. Having provided valuable clarification of its two main rivals, the book concludes by advocating stage theory. Such a basic issue about the nature of the physical world naturally has close ties with other central philosophical problems. This book includes discussions of change and parthood, of how we refer to material objects at different times, of the doctrine of Humean supervenience, and of the modal features of material things. In particular, it contains new accounts of the nature of worldly vagueness, and of what binds material things together over time, distinguishing the career of a natural object from an arbitrary sequence of events. Each chapter concludes with a reflection about the impact of these metaphysical debates upon questions about our personal identity and survival.
Hawley, Katherine. How Things Persist
2004, Hawley, Katherine (2001). How Things Persist. Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Added by: Christopher Masterman
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Comment: A modern classic, perfect for any introductory class on metaphysics which covers the metaphysics of material objects, particularly the nature change, their mereology, the possibility of vague objects, and modal properties of objects.