stage theory and temporal counterpart theoretic analysis of persistence

Document Type : Scientific-research


1 department of philosophy tarbiatmodares university

2 Professor of philosophy, department of philosophy tarbiat modares university

3 associate professor of philosophy, tarbiat modares university


In contemporary metaphysics, there are two main approaches to the nature of persistence of objects through time: according to three-dimensionalism, objects are wholly present at every moment of their existence, whereas in a four dimensionalist picture, objects persistence through time is analogous to their extension through space and is a matter of possessing different temporal parts at each subinterval of their lifetime. One major version of this theory known as stage theory, maintains that ordinary objects are instantaneous stages which persist through time by having different temporal counterparts at different times (temporal stages which are bound together by temporal counterpart relation). One of the main objections to this view is that it fails to genuinely account for objects’ persistence through time. The aim of this paper is twofold: first we present the stage-theoretic account of persistence and some of its correlative problems (namely the problems of temporal instantiation, reference and timeless counting) and then, we mention some difficulties arise from adopting such an account. Quite apart from the deficiency of its analysis of persistence and temporal instantiation and different objections which are raised to it in this regard, stage theory strategies for the problem of timeless counting seem to be at odds with standard criteria of numerical unity and multiplicity.


Main Subjects

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