Can I be an Instantaneous Stage and yet Persist Through Time?
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- Hansson Wahlberg, T. Int Ontology Metaphysics (2008) 9: 235. doi:10.1007/s12133-008-0036-9
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An alternative to the standard endurance/perdurance accounts of persistence has recently been developed: the stage theory (Sider, T. Four-Dimensionalism: an Ontology of Persistence and Time. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001; Hawley, K. How Things Persist. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001). According to this theory, a persisting object is identical with an instantaneous stage (temporal part). On the basis of Leibniz’s Law, I argue that stage theorists either have to deny the alleged identity (i.e., give up their central thesis) or hold that stages are both instantaneous and continuants. I subsequently show that, although stage theory is flexible enough to accommodate the latter claim, the cost for accommodating it is an excessive proliferation of persistence concepts.