One premise in David Lewis’s well-known argument from temporary intrinsic properties in favor of temporal parts is the (putative) intuition that material objects exemplify such properties simpliciter, that is, without qualification. The argument has spawned a large critical literature, with commentators questioning the simpliciter premise’s motivation, content, dialectical force, and status as an intuition. The present essay has two chief goals: to provide a novel framework for clarifying Lewis’s simpliciter premise and to explain how the resulting clarification upends a wide range of attempts in the literature to evade his conclusion. Central to both goals is the observation that exemplification simpliciter best comports with our most fundamental notion of property exemplification, a notion that applies equally well to material and atemporal abstract objects.
Relational Theory Material Object Temporal Part Proper Part External Relation
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Thank you to Anna-Sofia Maurin and several anonymous referees for helpful feedback on ancestors of this essay. Funding for the completion of this essay was provided by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (Grant No. RIK15-1252:1).
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