Temporal Parts

  • Robin Le Poidevin
Part of the Studies in Contemporary Philosophy book series


We must first ask: what are temporal parts? A temporal part is generally taken to be the intersection of an object and a time or time-interval (for the purposes of my argument it is to be understood that a ‘time’ is an unextended temporal point), represented formally as ‘a-at-t’. This is certainly the historical doctrine, as advocated by Russell ((1914), pp. 105f; (1927), pp. 244, 284) and Quine ((1960), p. 172). To Quine we owe the notation ‘x-at-t’. Carnap (1958) had introduced a notation, ‘Sli(x, y)’, interpreted ‘x is a spatio-temporal slice of y’, but it never caught on. As first presented by Russell, the doctrine of temporal parts was seen as a consequence of physics rather than philosophy. In particular, relativity theory requires a view of objects as extended in the four-dimensional manifold. Such four-dimensional objects have temporal, as well as spatial, parts.


Temporal Part Spatial Extension Relational Account Spatial Part Temporal Extension 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© The Scots Philosophical Club 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robin Le Poidevin
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LeedsUK

Personalised recommendations