, Volume 194, Issue 11, pp 4623–4640 | Cite as

Refining Four-Dimensionalism

  • Shieva KleinschmidtEmail author


Current formulations of Four-Dimensionalism may be objected to on grounds that they are too inflexible: the formulations do not seem to allow for enough variety in the views they are paired with. For instance, Kit Fine has noted that formulations of Four-Dimensionalism in terms of instantaneous parts may be too demanding for Four-Dimensionalists who believe nothing is instantaneous. And Trenton Merricks has argued that one can think something persists four-dimensionionally without taking it to have proper temporal parts (i.e., temporal parts distinct from the whole object), and claims that our formulation of Four-Dimensionalism should be revised to allow for this. I will add my own worries to those of Fine and Merricks. I will note that current formulations of Four-Dimensionalism are not sufficiently neutral with respect to the structure of time, with respect to how liberally objects decompose into parts, and with respect to whether objects and the regions they fill match in mereological structure. I will show that we can formulate Four-Dimensionalism in a sufficiently neutral way, while still producing a view that can do the work we typically require of Four-Dimensionalism.


Persistence Four-Dimensionalism Parthood Time 


  1. Casati, R., & Varzi, A. (1999). Parts and places. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  2. Cohen, S. M., Curd, P., & Reeve, C. D. C. (Eds.). (2005). Readings in ancient greek philosophy: From Thales to Aristotle (3rd ed.). Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  3. Cotnoir, A. (2010). Anti-symmetry and non-extensional mereology. Philosophical Quarterly, 60, 396–405.Google Scholar
  4. Crisp, T., & Donald, S. (2005). Wholly present’defined. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 71, 318–344.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Effingham, N. (2011). Temporal parts and time travel. Erkenn, 74, 225–240.Google Scholar
  6. Fine, K. (2006). In defense of three-dimensionalism. Journal of Philosophy, 103(12), 699–714.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gilmore, C. (2014). Location and mereology. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy.
  8. Gilmore, C. (Unpublished). Material objects: Metaphysical issues.Google Scholar
  9. Hawthorne, J. (2006). Three-Dimensionalism. In J. Hawthorne (Ed.), Metaphysical essays (pp. 85–110). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Heller, M. (1984). Temporal parts of four dimensional objects. Philosophical Studies, 46(3), 323–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hudson, H. (2006). The metaphysics of hyperspace. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Kleinschmidt, S. (2011). Multilocation and mereology. Philosophical Perspectives, 25, 253–276.Google Scholar
  13. Kleinschmidt, S. (Ed.). (2014). Mereology and location. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Kleinschmidt, S. (forthcoming). Placement permissivism and logics of location. Journal of Philosophy.Google Scholar
  15. Kleinschmidt, S. (unpublished). Parts across space and time.Google Scholar
  16. Korman, D. Z. (2014). Debunking perceptual beliefs about ordinary objects. Philosophers’ Imprint, 14(13), 1–21.Google Scholar
  17. Lewis, D. (1986). On the plurality of worlds. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  18. Markosian, N. (1994). The 3D/4D controversy and non-present objects. Philosophical Papers, 23, 243–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. McDaniel, K. (2003). Against Maxcon simples. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 81(2), 265–275.Google Scholar
  20. Merricks, T. (1999). Persistence, parts, and presentism. Nous, 33(3), 421–438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Olson, E. (2007). What are we?. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Parsons, J. (2000). Must a four-dimensionalist believe in temporal parts? The Monist, 83(3), 399–418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Parsons, J. (2004). Distributional properties. In F. Jackson & G. Priest (Eds.), Lewisian themes: The philosophy of David K. Lewis (pp. 173–180). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Parsons, J. (2007). Theories of location. Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, 3, 201–232.Google Scholar
  25. Sider, T. (2001). Four-Dimensionalism: An ontology of persistence and time. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Simons, P. (1987). Parts: A study in ontology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Simons, P. (2014). Where it’s at: Modes of occupation and kinds of occupant. In S. Kleinschmidt (Ed.), Mereology and location. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Thomson, J. (1983). Parthood and identity across time. The Journal of Philosophy, 80, 201–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. van Inwagen, P. (1981). The doctrine of arbitrary undetached parts Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 62, 123–137 (reprinted in his 2001 Ontology, identity and modality: Essays in metaphysics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 75–94).Google Scholar
  30. van Inwagen, P. (1990). Four-dimensional objects. Nous, 24(2), 245–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Varzi, A. (2007). Spatial reasoning and ontology: Parts, wholes, and locations. In M. Aiello, I. Pratt-Hartmann, & J. van Benthem (Eds.), Handbook of spatial logics (pp. 945–1038). Berlin: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations