Skip to main content

Spatio-Temporal Coincidence and the Grounding Problem

Abstract

A lot of people believe that distinct objectscan occupy precisely the same place for theentire time during which they exist. Suchpeople have to provide an answer to the`grounding problem' – they have to explain howsuch things, alike in so many ways, nonethelessmanage to fall under different sortals, or havedifferent modal properties. I argue in detailthat they cannot say that there is anything invirtue of which spatio-temporally coincidentthings have those properties. However, I alsoargue that this may not be as bad as it looks,and that there is a way to make sense of theclaim that such properties are primitive.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

REFERENCES

  • Baker, L. (1997): ‘Why Constitution is not Identity’, The Journal of Philosophy 94, 599–621.

    Google Scholar 

  • Baker, L. (2000): Persons and Bodies: A Constitution View. New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bennett, K. (forthcoming): ‘Global Supervenience and Dependence’, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.

  • Black, M. (1954): ‘The Identity of Indiscernibles’, reprinted (1970) in M. Loux (ed.), Universals and Particulars: Readings in Ontology (pp. 204–216), Garden City, NY: Doubleday.

    Google Scholar 

  • Blackburn, S. (1973): ‘Moral Realism’, reprinted (1993) in Essays in Quasi-Realism (pp. 111–129), Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Blackburn, S. (1984): Spreading the Word: Groundings in the Philosophy of Language, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Blackburn, S. (1985): ‘Supervenience Revisited’, reprinted (1993) in Essays in Quasi-Realism (pp. 130–148), Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Blackburn, S. (1987): ‘Morals and Modals’, reprinted (1993) in Essays in Quasi-Realism (pp. 52–74), Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Burke, M. (1992): ‘Copper Statues and Pieces of Copper: A Challenge to the Standard Account’, Analysis 52, 12–17.

    Google Scholar 

  • Burke, M. (1994): ‘Preserving the Principle of One Object to a Place: A Novel Account of the Relations Among Objects, Sorts, Sortals, and Persistence Conditions’, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54, 591–624.

    Google Scholar 

  • Della Rocca, M. (1996): ‘Essentialists and Essentialism’, The Journal of Philosophy 93, 186–202.

    Google Scholar 

  • Divers, J. (1992): ‘Modal Supervenience and Modal Realism’, Theoria 58, 99–115.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fine, K. (2003): ‘The Non-Identity of aMaterial Thing and its Matter’, Mind 112, 195–234.

    Google Scholar 

  • Forbes, G. (1985): The Metaphysics of Modality, Oxford: Clarendon.

    Google Scholar 

  • Geach, P. (1980): Reference and Generality, Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gibbard, A. (1975): ‘Contingent Identity’, Journal of Philosophical Logic 4, 187–221.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hare, R.M. (1952): The Language of Morals, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Heller, M. (1990): The Ontology of Physical Objects: Four-Dimensional Hunks of Matter, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Horgan, T. (1993): ‘From Supervenience to Superdupervenience: Meeting the Demands of a Material World’, Mind 102, 555–586.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kim, J. (1984): ‘Concepts of Supervenience’, reprinted (1993) in Supervenience and Mind (pp. 53–78), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kim, J. (1988): ‘Supervenience for Multiple Domains’, reprinted (1993) in Supervenience and Mind (pp. 109–130), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kim, J. (1993): ‘Postscripts on Supervenience’, in Supervenience and Mind (pp. 161–171), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kim, J. (1998): Mind in a Physical World: An Essay on the Mind-Body Problem and Mental Causation, Cambridge,MA: Bradford.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kripke, S. (1980): Naming and Necessity, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lewis, D. (1971): ‘Counterparts of Persons and Their Bodies’, reprinted (1983) in Philosophical Papers, Volume I (pp. 47–54), Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lewis, D. (1986): On the Plurality of Worlds, Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lewis, D. (1993): ‘Many but Almost One’, reprinted (1999) in Papers in Metaphysics and Epistemology (pp. 64–182), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • McGinn, C. (1981): ‘Modal Reality’, in R. Healey (ed.), Reduction, Time, and Reality: Studies in the Philosophy of the Natural Sciences (pp. 143–188), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • McLaughlin, B. (1995): ‘Varieties of Supervenience’, in E. Savellos and U. Yalçin (eds.), Supervenience: New Essays (pp.16–59), NY: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • McLaughlin, B. (1997): ‘Supervenience, Vagueness, and Determination’, Philosophical Perspectives 11, 209–230.

    Google Scholar 

  • Moyer, M. (unpublished): ‘Defending Coincidence: An Explanation of a Sort'.

  • Myro, G. (1986a): ‘Identity and Time’, in E. Grandy and R. Warner (eds.), Philosophical Grounds of Rationality: Intentions, Categories, Ends (pp. 383–409), Oxford: Clarendon Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Myro, G. (1986b): ‘Time and Essence’, Midwest Studies in Philosophy 11, 331–341.

    Google Scholar 

  • Noonan, H. (1980): Objects and Identity, The Hague: Nijhoff.

    Google Scholar 

  • Noonan, H. (1993): ‘Constitution is Identity’, Mind 102, 133–146.

    Google Scholar 

  • Paul, L.A. (forthcoming): ‘The Context of Essence’, The Australasian Journal of Philosophy.

  • Quine, W.V.O. (1960): Word and Object, Cambridge: MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rea, M. (1997): ‘Supervenience and Colocation’, American PhilosophicalQuarterly 34, 367–375.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rea, M. (2000): ‘Constitution and Kind Membership’, Philosophical Studies 97, 169–193.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sidelle, A. (1989): Necessity, Essence, and Individuation: A Defense of Conventionalism, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sidelle, A. (1992a): ‘Identity and the Identity-Like’, Philosophical Topics 20, 269–292.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sidelle, A. (1992b): ‘Rigidity, Ontology, and Semantic Structure’, The Journal of Philosophy 89, 410–430.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sider, T. (1999): ‘Global Supervenience and Identity Across Times and Worlds’, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59, 913–937.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sider, T. (2001): Four-Dimensionalism: An Ontology of Persistence and Time, Oxford: Clarendon.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sosa, E. (1987): ‘Subjects Among Other Things’, Philosophical Perspectives 1, 155–187.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sosa, E. (1999): ‘Existential Relativity’, Midwest Studies in Philosophy 23, 132–143.

    Google Scholar 

  • Stalnaker, R. (1996): ‘Varieties of Supervenience’, Philosophical Perspectives 10, 221–241.

    Google Scholar 

  • Thomson, J. (1998): ‘The Statue and the Clay’, Noûs 32, 149–173.

    Google Scholar 

  • Unger, P. (1980): ‘The Problem of the Many’, Midwest Studies in Philosophy 5, 411–468.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wiggins, D. (1980): Sameness and Substance, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wiggins, D. (1986): ‘On Singling Out an Object Determinately’, in P. Pettit and J. McDowell (eds.), Subject, Thought, and Context (pp. 169–180), Oxford: Clarendon Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Williamson, T. (1994): Vagueness, NY: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Yablo, S. (1987): ‘Identity, Essence, and Indiscernibility’, The Journal of Philosophy 84, 293–314.

    Google Scholar 

  • Yablo, S. (1992): Mental Causation’, The Philosophical Review 101, 245–280.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zimmerman, D. (1995): ‘Theories of Masses and Problems of Constitution’, The Philosophical Review 104, 53–110.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Bennett, K. Spatio-Temporal Coincidence and the Grounding Problem. Philosophical Studies 118, 339–371 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1023/B:PHIL.0000026471.20355.54

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1023/B:PHIL.0000026471.20355.54

Keywords

  • Modal Property
  • Grounding Problem