Advertisement

Persistence in Minkowski Space-Time

  • Cord Friebe
Conference paper
Part of the The European Philosophy of Science Association Proceedings book series (EPSP, volume 1)

Abstract

Under the eternalist hypothesis that objects or events exist temporally, but independently of being present two different views of persistence are on the market: Persisting objects endure if they are multiply located in (space-)time, and persisting objects perdure if they are singly located by having numerically different temporal parts. In the framework of the special theory of relativity (SR), the metaphysics of persistence is confronted with peculiar difficulties. Things persist by being “wholly present” at more than one time; but what are times within a temporally non-separated spacetime? Things persist by having different temporal parts at different times; but what are the temporal parts of a four-dimensional object in Minkowski spacetime? Recently, several authors have argued that SR favours perdurantism over its endurantist rival. In this paper, I intend to show that the purported arguments are only those against endurantism. The first simply fails, but the second, more convincing one, is such that with a similar strategy we should argue against perdurantism as well: Enduring and perduring entities are hence both in conflict with SR which undermines the eternalist hypothesis.

Keywords

Minkowski Spacetime Temporal Part Spacetime Region Spatial Shape Enduring Object 
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.

References

  1. Balashov, Yuri. 2000a. Persistence and space-time: Philosophical lessons of the Pole and Barn. The Monist 83: 321–340.Google Scholar
  2. Balashov, Yuri. 2000b. Enduring and perduring objects in Minkowski space-time. Philosophical Studies 99: 129–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Balashov, Yuri. 2005. Special relativity, coexistence and temporal parts: A reply to Gilmore. Philosophical Studies 124: 1–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Balashov, Yuri. 2008. Persistence and multilocation in spacetime. In The ontology of spacetime II, ed. D. Dieks, 59–81. Amsterdam: Elsevier.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Gibson, Ian, and Oliver Pooley. 2006. Relativistic persistence. In Philosophical Perspectives, Vol. 20, Metaphysics, ed. J. Hawthorne, 157–198, Malden, MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  6. Gilmore, Cody S. 2002. Balashov on special relativity, coexistence, and temporal parts. Philosophical Studies 109: 241–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gilmore, Cody S. 2006. Where in the relativistic world are we? In Philosophical Perspectives, Vol. 20, Metaphysics, ed. J. Hawthorne, 199–236, Malden, MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  8. Lewis, David. 1976. Survival and identity. In Philosophical papers I, ed. D. Lewis, 55–77. Oxford: OUP (1983).Google Scholar
  9. Lewis, David. 1986. On the plurality of worlds. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  10. Mellor, Hugh D. 1998. Real time II. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Merricks, Trenton. 1994. Endurance and indiscernibility. The Journal of Philosophy 91(4): 165–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Miller, Kristie. 2004. Enduring special relativity. Southern Journal of Philosophy 42(3): 349–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Putnam, Hilary. 1967. Time and physical geometry. The Journal of Philosophy 64: 240–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Sider, Theodore. 2001. Four-dimensionalism. An ontology of persistence and time. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  15. Tooley, Michael. 1997. Time, tense, and causation. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  16. Williams, Clifford. 1996. The metaphysics of A- and B-time. The Philosophical Quarterly 46(184): 371–381.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universität BonnBonnGermany

Personalised recommendations