Chapter

Persisting Objects in Classical Spacetime

Yuri Balashov

in Persistence and Spacetime

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199579921
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722899 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199579921.003.0004
Persisting Objects in Classical Spacetime

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The generic framework of Chapter 2 is used to formulate the rival views of persistence in classical (Galilean) spacetime, followed by a brief analysis of available regional modification schemes and a statement of achronal universalism. The remainder of the chapter is focused on the argument from vagueness to four‐dimensionalism, due to Lewis and Sider. The chapter develops a new objection to this argument, based on drawing a motivated distinction between synchronic and diachronic composition. Diachronic composition can be said to be causally grounded in a way synchronic composition is not. This allows one to construct a counterexample that blocks a crucial step in the argument from vagueness. While the three‐dimensionalist may welcome this objection as undermining the general case for four‐dimensionalism, I am inclined to consider it as encouraging important domestic restructuring in the four‐dimensionalist camp. In particular, the burdensome marriage between four‐dimensionalism and mereological universalism can be dissolved.

Keywords: Galilean spacetime; persistence; achronal universalism; three‐dimensionalism; four‐dimensionalism; argument from vagueness; Lewis; Sider; mereological universalism

Chapter.  7273 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Metaphysics

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