Philosophia

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 759–770 | Cite as

How Coincidence Bears on Persistence

Article

Abstract

The ‘paradoxes of coincidence’ are generally taken as an important factor for deciding between rival views on persistence through time. In particular, the ability to deal with apparent cases of temporary coincidence is usually regarded as a good reason for favouring perdurantism (or ‘four-dimensionalism’) over endurantism (or ‘three-dimensionalism’). However, the recent work of Gilmore (2007) and McGrath (2007) challenges this standard view. For different reasons, both Gilmore and McGrath conclude that perdurantism does not really obtain support from the puzzles of temporary coincidence. In this paper, I will evaluate their arguments and defend the opposite view: that the paradoxes of coincidence do give some support to perdurantism. However, the way in which they do so is rather unexpected. As we will see, there are different ways in which coincidence scenarios may be thought to support perdurantism, some of which have not yet been sufficiently explored. Thus, my immediate goal is to explore one of those directions, bringing into focus a new argument from coincidence to perdurantism. And although I motivate my discussion by examining the arguments in the work of Gilmore and McGrath, the merits of this argument can be independently assessed. More generally, my overall purpose is to contribute to our general understanding of how the topics of coincidence and persistence bear on each other.

Keywords

Persistence Coincidence Endurantism Perdurantism Four-dimensionalism 

References

  1. Eagle, A. (2010). ‘Location and perdurance’. In D. Zimmerman (Ed.), Oxford studies in metaphysics, vol. 5.Google Scholar
  2. Gilmore, C. (2006). Where in the relativistic world are we? Philosophical Perspectives, 20(1), 199–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Gilmore, C. (2007). ‘Time travel, coinciding objects, and persistence’. In D. Zimmerman (Ed.), Oxford studies in metaphysics, vol. 3.Google Scholar
  4. Gilmore, C. (2008). Persistence and location in relativistic spacetime. Philosophy Compass, 3(6), 1224–1254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Lewis, D. K. (1984). Putnam’s paradox. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 62(3), 221–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Lewis, D. K. (1983). New work for a theory of universals. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 61(December), 343–377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. McGrath, M. (2007). ‘Four-dimensionalism and the puzzles of coincidence’. In D. Zimmerman (Ed.), Oxford studies in metaphysics, vol. 3.Google Scholar
  8. Parsons, J. (2007). ‘Theories of location’. In D. Zimmerman (Ed.), Oxford studies in metaphysics, vol. 3.Google Scholar
  9. Sider, T. (2001). Four-dimensionalism: An ontology of persistence and time. Oxford: Clarendon.Google Scholar
  10. Sider, T. (2007). Parthood. Philosophical Review, 116(1), 51–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Wasserman, R. (2002). The standard objection to the standard account. Philosophical Studies, 111, 197–216.CrossRefGoogle 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