Three‐Dimensionalism and Four‐Dimensionalism

Thomas Sattig

in The Language and Reality of Time

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780199279524
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191604041 | DOI:
 Three‐Dimensionalism and Four‐Dimensionalism

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Part of the problem of temporal supervenience is the problem of spatiotemporal location: how are objects located in spacetime? This chapter provides a detailed statement of various answers to this problem. The main answers are three-dimensionalism and four-dimensionalism. The three-dimensionalist holds that an object occupies many temporally unextended regions of spacetime, whereas the four-dimensionalist holds that an object occupies only a single temporally extended region of spacetime. Subsequently to stating these accounts of spatiotemporal location, the chapter discusses the relationship of three-dimensionalism and four-dimensionalism to other theses and theories, including the theory of temporal parts, endurantism, perdurantism, eternalism, and presentism.

Keywords: counterpart theory; endurantism; eternalism; four-dimensionalism; parthood; perdurantism; presentism; spacetime; special relativity; temporal parts

Chapter.  7507 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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