, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 29-44
Date: 09 Apr 2011

Moments of Change

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Abstract

There is a strong intuition that for a change to occur, there must be a moment at which the change is taking place. It will be demonstrated that there are no such moments of change, since no state the changing thing could be in at any moment would suffice to make that moment a moment of change. A moment in which the changing thing is simply in the state changed from or the state changed to cannot be the moment of change, since these states are respectively before and after the change; moreover, to select one of these moments over the other as the moment of change would be arbitrary. A moment in which the changing thing is neither in the state changed from nor in the state changed to cannot be the moment of change, since there are changes for which it is impossible for something to be in neither state. Finally, the moment of change cannot be a moment in which the changing thing is in both the state changed from and the state changed to, as suggested by Graham Priest and others. Even if, like proponents of this view, we are willing to accept the contradictions that the account entails, it is demonstrated that on such a model, every change would require an infinite number of other changes, every change would take an infinite amount of time, and some changes would occur without occurring at any time. Further, the model is grossly counterintuitive, with the exact nature of the counterintuitive element depending on what model of time and space one endorses. Finally, it is demonstrated that this model is incompatible with the Leibniz Continuity Condition.