Ideas from 'Four Dimensionalism' by Theodore Sider [2001], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Four Dimensionalism' by Sider,Theodore [OUP 2003,0-19-926352-3]].

green numbers give full details    |     back to texts     |     expand these ideas


1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 2. Possibility of Metaphysics
Metaphysical enquiry can survive if its conclusions are tentative
7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 2. Processes
Four-dimensionalism sees things and processes as belonging in the same category
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 6. Categorical Properties
Proper ontology should only use categorical (actual) properties, not hypothetical ones
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / e. Individuation by kind
If sortal terms fix the kind and the persistence conditions, we need to know what kinds there are
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / b. Cat and its tail
If Tib is all of Tibbles bar her tail, when Tibbles loses her tail, two different things become one
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / c. Statue and clay
Artists 'create' statues because they are essentially statues, and so lack identity with the lump of clay
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / d. Coincident objects
The stage view of objects is best for dealing with coincident entities
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 5. Composition of an Object
'Composition as identity' says that an object just is the objects which compose it
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 12. Essential Parts
Mereological essentialism says an object's parts are necessary for its existence
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 3. Three-Dimensionalism
Some might say that its inconsistency with time travel is a reason to favour three-dimensionalism
Three-dimensionalists assert 'enduring', being wholly present at each moment, and deny 'temporal parts'
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 4. Four-Dimensionalism
Four-dimensionalists assert 'temporal parts', 'perduring', and being spread out over time
4D says intrinsic change is difference between successive parts
4D says each spatiotemporal object must have a temporal part at every moment at which it exists
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 5. Temporal Parts
Temporal parts exist, but are not prior building blocks for objects
How can an instantaneous stage believe anything, if beliefs take time?
Four-dimensionalism says temporal parts are caused (through laws of motion) by previous temporal parts
Temporal parts are instantaneous
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 9. Ship of Theseus
The ship undergoes 'asymmetric' fission, where one candidate is seen as stronger
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 8. Leibniz's Law
If you say Leibniz's Law doesn't apply to 'timebound' properties, you are no longer discussing identity
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 3. Transworld Objects / c. Counterparts
Counterparts rest on similarity, so there are many such relations in different contexts
27. Natural Reality / A. Classical Physics / 1. Mechanics / a. Explaining movement
Maybe motion is a dynamical quantity intrinsic to a thing at a particular time
27. Natural Reality / C. Space / 6. Space-Time
Space is 3D and lacks a direction; time seems connected to causation
27. Natural Reality / D. Time / 1. Nature of Time / f. Growing block
Between presentism and eternalism is the 'growing block' view - the past is real, the future is not
27. Natural Reality / D. Time / 1. Nature of Time / g. Presentism
Presentists must deny truths about multiple times
For Presentists there must always be a temporal vantage point for any description
27. Natural Reality / D. Time / 2. Passage of Time / c. Tenses and time
Talk using tenses can be eliminated, by reducing it to indexical connections for an utterance
27. Natural Reality / D. Time / 2. Passage of Time / f. Tenseless (B) series
The B-theory is adequate, except that it omits to say which time is present
The B-series involves eternalism, and the reduction of tense