Objections and Replies

  • Christopher Hughes Conn
Part of the Philosophical Studies Series book series (PSSP, volume 98)


In the previous chapter I argued that the organisms and persons in Locke’s ontology have both spatial and temporal extent, and hence both spatial and temporal parts. While I do not claim that Locke was fully aware of these four-dimensional implications, I suspect that he was aware of them at some level of his understanding. It is important to point out, however, that not much rides on this supposition. For on my interpretation, the organisms and persons in Locke’s ontology have both spatial and temporal extent whether he is aware of this or not. Hence he is a four-dimensionalist, whether he is aware of this or not.


Material Object Temporal Part Dimensional Object Temporal Extent Successive Object 
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  1. 1.
    For a summary of Cartwright’s argument, see Paulo Dau (1986,471f).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Heller points out that three-dimensionalists respond to this contradiction in various ways. Thus, for example, van Inwagen (1981) avoids this contradiction by accepting (b), Chisholm (1973) avoids it by accepting (c), Judith Jarvis Thomson (1983) avoids it by accepting (d), and Geach (1967) avoids it by accepting (e).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    According to Chisholm (1979) and Shoemaker (1979), Thomas Reid and Bishop Butler also maintain this view of organisms. But unlike Hume, they do not think that persons are entia successiva. For Reid’s views on these matters, see the third and sixth essays of his Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man (found in Perry (1975)). For Butler’s, see his “Of Personal Identity,” which is the first appendix of his Analogy of Religion (1736), and which is also found in Perry (1975).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    See, for example, Roderick Chisholm (1971, 11-13) and (1976, 138-40); and Mark Heller (1990, 21-23).Google Scholar
  5. 8.
    Richard Taylor (1955, 601) points out that this statement fails to identity a simple and obvious difference between space and time. For just as an object can be in a single place at more than one time if it lasts long enough, an object can be in more than one place at a single time if it is large enough.Google Scholar
  6. 13.
    Quoted from and translated by Bennett and Remnant (1978, 3). For the untranslated version of this letter, and for Lady Masham’s response, see C. I. Gerhardt’s edition of Leibniz’s correspondence, Die Philosophischen Schriften von Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (Berlin, 1875-90), vol. 3, pp. 297f, and 364.Google Scholar
  7. 14.
    Quoted from and translated by Bennett and Remnant (1978, 5). For other discussions of Coste’s encounter with Newton, see A. C. Fraser’s critical edition of the Essay (1894, 321-22n); Alexendre Koyré (1965, 91-93); Howard Stein (1970, 274-75); Martin Tamny (1979); Roger Woolhouse (1982); Thomas Lennon (1984); and Michael Ayers (1991, 2:59, 304n.85).Google Scholar
  8. 15.
    This fragment of Newton’s (henceforth cited as De Gravitatione) was first published (in Latin and English) and translated by Rupert Hall and Marie Hall (1962). For discussions of the date of this work, see Hall and Hall (1962, 89), Howard Stein (1970, 274n.11), and Roger Woolhouse (1982, 88n.10).Google Scholar
  9. 17.
    Here I follow Arnold Koslow (1976, 242).Google Scholar
  10. 18.
    For a detailed account of the various possible dates of their acquaintance, see G. A. J. Rogers (1978, 230f).Google Scholar
  11. 19.
    Martin Tamny has argued that these successively existing bodies cannot be spatio-temporally continuous with one another For, he writes, “no matter how quickly God managed these successive endowments and withdrawals [of impenetrability], they would still remain successive and thus denumerable, which means that these bodies would not have spatio-temporal continuity” (1979, 56). Tamny is mistaken. The denumerability of these successive manifestations of impenetrability has nothing to do with their spatio-temporal continuity, since it is clearly possible for successively existing objects to be spatiotemporally continuous with one another. For arguments to this effect, see Sydney Shoemaker (1979), and David Armstrong (1980).Google Scholar

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Hughes Conn
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of the SouthSewaneeUSA

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