, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 193–204 | Cite as

Endurance and Discernibility

  • Robert FrancescottiEmail author
Original Paper


How can an object remain the same, numerically identical, while undergoing change? This is a worry for endurantists, who hold that for any stages, x and y, of a persisting object, x is numerically identical with y. Endurantists might try to avoid the problem of change by insisting that all properties are temporally anchored. It is argued here that while this strategy helps in many cases, it does not help in all. A type of case is presented in which a property is time-indexed but the property is one that an object exemplifies at only one time in its career. The choice between the A theory and the B theory of time (in particular, presentism versus eternalism), and how that bears on the problem presented here, is also considered. It is argued that regardless of our views about the nature of time, so long as objects persist through time while undergoing change, the risk of violating the Indiscernibility of Identicals remains a serious threat to endurantism.


A theory and B theory of time Change Endurantism Eternalism Identity Indiscernibility Perdurantism Persistence Presentism 


  1. Chisholm, R. 1980. “Identity through time,” in van Inwagen (ed.), Time and causes: essays presented to Richard Taylor (Dordrecht: Reidel), 17–25.Google Scholar
  2. Haslanger, S. 1989. “Endurance and temporary intrinsics,” Analysis 49, 119–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Johnston, M. 1987. “Is there a problem about persistence?,” The Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volume 61, 107–135.Google Scholar
  4. Lewis, D. 1986. On the plurality of worlds (Oxford: Blackwell).Google Scholar
  5. Lowe, E. J. 1987. “The problems of intrinsic change: rejoinder to Lewis,” Analysis 48, 2–77.Google Scholar
  6. Loux, M. 2006. Metaphysics, 3rd edition (London: Routledge).Google Scholar
  7. Mellor, D. H. 1998. Real time II (London: Routledge).Google Scholar
  8. Merricks, T. 1994. “Endurance and indiscernibility,” The Journal of Philosophy 91, 165–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Merricks, T. 1999. “Presentism, persistence, and change,” Nous 33, 421–438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Sider, T. 2001. Four dimensionalism (Oxford: Clarendon).Google Scholar
  11. Smart, J. C. C. 1980. “Time and becoming,” in van Inwagen (ed.), Time and cause: essays presented to Richard Taylor (Dordrecht: Reidel), 3–15.Google Scholar
  12. van Inwagen, P. 1990. “Four-dimensional objects,” Nous 24, 245–255.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophySan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA

Personalised recommendations