Philosophical Studies

, Volume 161, Issue 3, pp 367–379 | Cite as

Stage theory and proper names



In the contemporary debate about the nature of persistence, stage theory is the view that ordinary objects (artefacts, animals, persons, etc.) are instantaneous and “persist” by being suitably related to other instantaneous objects. In this paper I focus on the issue of what stage theorists should say about the semantics of ordinary proper names, like ‘Socrates’ or ‘London’. I consider the remarks that stage theorists actually make about this issue, present some problems they face, and finally offer what I take to be the best alternative available for them.


Stage theory Persistence Perdurantism Counterpart theory Proper names 



For their comments and discussion on previous versions of this paper, I would like to thank Gemma Celestino, Manuel García-Carpintero, Dan López de Sa, Genoveva Martí, Fabrice Correia, Timothy Lewis, Chelsey Booth, Gary Wedeking, Steven Savitt, two anonymous referees, and audiences at Barcelona, Valencia, Paris, Vancouver, Calgary, Pasadena, and Buenos Aires. Research leading to this paper has been funded by the research projects CSD2009-00056, FFI2010-15717, and HUM2007-61108 (Spanish Government).


  1. Donnellan, K. S. (1974). Speaking of nothing. The Philosophical Review, 83, 3–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Hawley, K. (2001). How things persist. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Moyer, M. (2008). Why we shouldn’t swallow worm slices: A case study in semantic accommodation. Noûs, 42(1), 109–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Parsons, J. (2004). Review of T. Sider’s Four-Dimensionalism. Philosophical Quarterly, 54, 188–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Sider, T. (1996). All the World’s a stage. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 74, 433–453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Sider, T. (2001). Four-dimensionalism: An ontology of persistence and time. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departament de Metafísica i Teoria del ConeixementUniversitat de ValènciaValènciaSpain

Personalised recommendations