Enduring and Perduring Objects in Minkowski Space-Time*


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Abstract

I examine the issue of persistence over time in the context of the special theory of relativity (SR). The four-dimensional ontology of perduring objects is clearly favored by SR. But it is a different question if and to what extent this ontology is required, and the rival endurantist ontology ruled out, by this theory. In addressing this question, I take the essential idea of endurantism, that objects are wholly present at single moments of time, and argue that it commits one to unacceptable conclusions regarding coexistence, in the context of SR. I then propose and discuss a plausible account of coexistence for perduring objects, which is free of these defects. This leaves the endurantist room for some maneuvers. I consider them and show that they do not really help the endurantist out. She can accommodate the notion of coexistence in the relativistic framework only at the cost of renouncing central endurantist intuitions.

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