, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 87-90
Date: 12 Apr 2011

How should we understand relativistic persistence?

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Yuri Balashov endeavors to show how the debate about the nature of an object’s persistence through time should be played out in Special Relativisty (SR). According to the methodological approach he favors, one’s metaphysics should be informed by, and be consistent with, one’s physics. With change in physical theory will come conceptual and ontological change. Old and familiar beliefs about time, space and persistence may be challenged and have to be revised, but exactly which beliefs ought to be changed, and how, he takes to be guided in part by a principle he calls Minimizing Overall Ontological Revision (MOOR): “In adapting a metaphysical doctrine to a physical theory one should seek to minimize the degree of the overall ontological revision.” (100). According to Balashov, in the classical setting of Galilean space–time, there is no clear winner in the debate about how objects persist through time, but, he argues, once we recast these positions carefully within Minkowski space–time, ...