Persistence and Spacetime

Paperback | May 1, 2013

byYuri Balashov

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Material objects persist through time and survive change. How do they manage to do so? What are the underlying facts of persistence? Do objects persist by being "wholly present" at all moments of time at which they exist? Or do they persist by having distinct "temporal segments" confined tothe corresponding times? Are objects three-dimensional entities extended in space, but not in time? Or are they four-dimensional spacetime "worms"? These are matters of intense debate, which is now driven by concerns about two major issues in fundamental ontology: parthood and location. It is inthis context that broadly empirical considerations are increasingly brought to bear on the debate about persistence. Persistence and Spacetime pursues this empirically based approach to the questions. Yuri Balashov begins by setting out major rival views of persistence - endurance, perdurance, and exdurance - in a spacetime framework and proceeds to investigate the implications of Einstein's theory of relativityfor the debate about persistence. His overall conclusion - that relativistic considerations favour four-dimensionalism over three-dimensionalism - is hardly surprising. It is, however, anything but trivial. Contrary to a common misconception, there is no straightforward argument from relativity tofour-dimensionalism. The issues involved are complex, and the debate is closely entangled with a number of other philosophical disputes, including those about the nature and ontology of time, parts and wholes, material constitution, causation and properties, and vagueness.

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Material objects persist through time and survive change. How do they manage to do so? What are the underlying facts of persistence? Do objects persist by being "wholly present" at all moments of time at which they exist? Or do they persist by having distinct "temporal segments" confined tothe corresponding times? Are objects three-dim...

Yuri Balashov is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Georgia, US. His current interests are in analytic ontology and philosophy of time. He has published extensively in major philosophy journals, such as Nous, Philosophical Studies, American Philosophical Quarterly, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Philosophical Quarterly,...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:248 pagesPublished:May 1, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199679657

ISBN - 13:9780199679652

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Table of Contents

1. Background and Assumptions2. Persistence, Location and Multilocation in Spacetime3. Classical and Relativistic Spacetime4. Persisting Objects in Classical Spacetime5. Persisting Objects in Minkowski Spacetime6. Coexistence in Spacetime7. Strange Coexistence?8. Shapes and Other Arrangements in Minkowski SpacetimeReferences

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"Persistence and Spacetime is a wonderful example of how metaphysics and physics can combine forces to teach us the nature of spacetime and its denizens." --Ted Sider, New York University