Stages in Spacetime: The Languages of Persistence (Benjamin Neeser)

The Logic and Metaphysics Workshop will meet on February 11th from 4:15-6:15 in room 7314 of the CUNY Graduate Center for a talk by Benjamin Neeser (Geneva).

Title: Stages in Spacetime: The Languages of Persistence

AbstractMotivated by considerations from relativity theory, philosophers have recently contended that talk about an object’s existence in time should not be taken as fundamental, but rather analysed in the language of a formal theory of location in spacetimeThis suggestion has important consequences for the debate about persistence: how do ordinary objects exist at different times? It has triggered a program of recovery whereby the main views from the classical debate, previously expressed using the language of temporal mereology, have been redefined in a locational framework. In this paper, I extend this program to the stage theory of persistence, the view according to which objects are instantaneous three-dimensional stages which exist at different times by virtue of having counterparts at these times. I offer a new characterization of the view, the first in a purely locational language, and argue that this locational approach helps dissolve confusions about the view.

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