Four‐Dimensionalist Supervenience

Thomas Sattig

in The Language and Reality of Time

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780199279524
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191604041 | DOI:
 Four‐Dimensionalist Supervenience

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This chapter presents a new account of temporal predication — the representational account — combined with four-dimensionalism to yield the temporal-parts account of temporal supervenience. This elegant account asserts and explains the theses that the facts of persistence logically supervene on facts about the spatiotemporal location of temporal parts of objects, and that the facts of temporal instantiation logically supervene on facts about the atemporal instantiation of properties by temporal parts of objects. It is further shown that the questions of temporal supervenience as well as the four-dimensionalist answers to these questions have interesting spatial and modal analogues. Despite its success in explaining the supervenience of facts of persistence and change, the temporal-parts account has objectionable consequences. Three problems are raised, the most serious of which is the problem of predicational overkill. Each of these problems concerns the account’s failure to capture certain ordinary temporal facts.

Keywords: composition; counterpart theory; event; four-dimensionalism; modality; predication; representation; sortal; space; substantivalism

Chapter.  30601 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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