Dictionary of Arguments

Philosophical and Scientific Issues in Dispute

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The author or concept searched is found in the following 2 controversies.
Disputed term/author/ism Author Vs Author
Endurantism Lewis Vs Endurantism Schwarz I 32
Def Endurantism/Schwarz: (Vs Perdurantism): Thesis: Things are present as a whole (and not in parts) at all times in which they exist (like Aristotelian universalia). LewisVsEnduantism (instead: Mosaic theory).
Mosaic/Lewis: Thesis: All truth about our world as well as the temporal expansion of things are based on characteristics and relations between spatial-temporal expanded points.
endurantism VsLewis: This is not argument for him since he is not interested in mosaic theory.
LewisVsendurantism: better argument: intrinsic change: If normal things do not have temporal parts, but exist at different times, they can be neither round nor big, but only round in t. And this would be absurd.
Characteristics/some authors: surely, not all characteristics are relational like "to be far away", but they can at least be relational in time, although we ignore this perpetual present dependence. (Haslanger 1989(1):123f, Jackson 1994b(2),142f, van Inwagen 1990a(3), 116).
Characteristics/Lewis: (2004(4),4) at least abstract geometric objects can simply be round, therefore "round" is not a general relation to time.
Characteristics/endurantism/Johnston: Thesis: not only characteristics, but their instantiations should be relativized in the area of time. (Johnston, 1987(5),§5)
e.g. I am now sitting, and was sleeping last night.
Others: (Haslanger, 1989)(1): Thesis: Time designations (> time/Lewis) are adverbial modifications of propositions, e.g. I am now sitting this way, and was sleeping this way last night.
LewisVsJohnston/LewisVsHaslanger: This is not a great difference. These representatives deny as well that form characteristics arrive to the things in a direct, simple way and on their own.
perdurantism/endurantism/Schwarz: The debate has reached a dead end, both parties accuse the other of analyzing transformation away.
endurantism: To instantiate incompatible characteristics has nothing to do with transformation.
perdurantism: Temporal instantiation, e.g. straight for t1, bent for t0, shall not be a transformation.
Schwarz: Both goes against our intuition. Transformation is attributed too much importance.
Schwarz I 33
Perdurantism/Schwarz: pro: Intrinsic transformation is no problem for presentism since the past is now only fiction, but the following should make temporal parts attractive for the presentist as well: the surrogate four-dimensionalist needs to construct his ersatz times differently. Instead of primitive essences which surface in strictly identical different ersatz times, temporal ersatz parts could be introduced which will form the essences, and on their associated characteristics it will depend on whether it is an ersatz Socrates or not (as an example). Part/LewisVs endurantism: can also be temporal in everyday's language, e.g. a part of a film or a soccer game. E.g. part of a plan, parts of mathematics: not spatial. It is not even important whether the language accepts such denotations. Temporal would also exist if we could not designate them.

1. Sally Haslanger [1989]: “Endurance and Temporary Intrinsics”. Analysis, 49: 119–125
2. Frank Jackson [1994a]: “Armchair Metaphysics”. In John O’Leary Hawthorne und Michaelis Michael
(ed.), Philosophy in Mind, Dordrecht: Kluwer, 23–42.
3. Peter van Inwagen [1990a]: “Four-Dimensional Objects”. Noˆus, 24: 245–256. In [van Inwagen 2001]
4. D. Lewis [2004a]: “Causation as Influence”. In [Collins et al. 2004], 75–107.
5. Mark Johnston [1987]: “Is There a Problem About Persistence?” Proceedings of the Aristotelian
Society, Suppl. Vol., 61: 107–135

Lewis I
David K. Lewis
Die Identität von Körper und Geist Frankfurt 1989

Lewis I (a)
David K. Lewis
An Argument for the Identity Theory, in: Journal of Philosophy 63 (1966)
Die Identität von Körper und Geist, Frankfurt/M. 1989

Lewis I (b)
David K. Lewis
Psychophysical and Theoretical Identifications, in: Australasian Journal of Philosophy 50 (1972)
Die Identität von Körper und Geist, Frankfurt/M. 1989

Lewis I (c)
David K. Lewis
Mad Pain and Martian Pain, Readings in Philosophy of Psychology, Vol. 1, Ned Block (ed.) Harvard University Press, 1980
Die Identität von Körper und Geist, Frankfurt/M. 1989

Lewis II
David K. Lewis
"Languages and Language", in: K. Gunderson (Ed.), Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Vol. VII, Language, Mind, and Knowledge, Minneapolis 1975, pp. 3-35
Handlung, Kommunikation, Bedeutung, Georg Meggle Frankfurt/M. 1979

Lewis IV
David K. Lewis
Philosophical Papers Bd I New York Oxford 1983

Lewis V
David K. Lewis
Philosophical Papers Bd II New York Oxford 1986

Lewis VI
David K. Lewis
Convention. A Philosophical Study, Cambridge/MA 1969
German Edition:
Konventionen Berlin 1975

Clarence Irving Lewis
Collected Papers of Clarence Irving Lewis Stanford 1970

LewisCl I
Clarence Irving Lewis
Mind and the World Order: Outline of a Theory of Knowledge (Dover Books on Western Philosophy) 1991

Schw I
W. Schwarz
David Lewis Bielefeld 2005
Endurantism Stalnaker Vs Endurantism I 135
Vague identity/time/possible world/poss.w./Stalnaker: I ask with some examples for temporal and for cross world identity whether Salmon refuted vague identity with his argument. E.g. in Philadelphia, there are two prominent fish restaurants named "Bookbinder's". They compete with each other.
B1: "Bookbinder’s classic fish restaurant"
B2: "The old original Bookbinder's".
B0: The original, only restaurant from 1865.
Today's two restaurants may go back to the old and have a entangled history.
Question: does Salmon's argument show,
I 136
that there must be a fact (about the history) that decides on which restaurant is the original? One thing is clear: B1 unequal B2.
Transitive identity/transitivity/Stalnaker: then due to the transitivity of the identity B0 = B1 and B0 = B2 cannot exist at the same time.
Semantic indeterminacy/Stalnaker: but one is tempted to say that there is a certain semantic indeterminacy here.
Question: can we reconcile this with Salmon's argument (SalmonVsVague identity)?
Stalnaker: I think we can do so.
perdurantism/perduration/Stalnaker: e.g. if we say the name "B0" dates back to the time of 1865 when there was a certain restaurant "Bookbinder's" this is the most natural way.
endurantism/enduration/Stalnaker: e.g. but we can also say B0 is one of the today existing two restaurants "Bookbinder’s".
endurantism/Stalnaker: here it is similar to vague descriptions: example "B0" is ambiguous! It is unclear whether he refers to B1 or to B2. (Indefinite reference).
perdurantism/Stalnaker: here the reference is clear. ((s) Because the original restaurant does not exist anymore. B0 therefore clearly means the original restaurant because it cannot be confused with one of the two today existing) Also, of course "B1" and "B2" are unambiguous.
Question: given Salmon's argument: how can it then be indefinite if B0 = B2?
Stalnaker: that just depends on if we understand continuants as endurant or perdurant.
perdurantism/Stalnaker: can understand continuants e.g. as four-dimensional objects (four dimensionalism) which are extended in time exactly as they are extended in space. Then the example of the restaurants corresponds to the example of buildings (see above).
Example buildings: the indeterminacy is there explained by the indeterminacy of the concept "building". One building is maybe a part of another.
Example restaurants: according to this view each has a temporal part in common with the original. It is indeterminate here which of the temporal parts is a restaurant and which is a composition of multiple temporal parts of different restaurants.
I 137
Therefore, it is indefinite to which of these different entities "B0" refers (indefinite reference). perdurantism/continuant/Stalnaker: one might think, but we have a specific reference, like in the example of the building through a demonstrative with a ostension: when we say "this building". But that does not work with the perdurantistic conception of restaurants. ((s) As an institution, not as a building. This should be perdurant here that means not all temporal parts are simultaneously present and anyway not as material objects).
Four dimensionalism/Stalnaker: therefore has two possible interpretations: perdurantistic (here) and endurantistic (see below).
endurantism/four dimensional/four dimensionalism/continuant/Stalnaker: some authors: thesis: continuants have no temporal parts like events. That means they are at any moment with all their (only spatial) parts present. Nevertheless, they exist in time.
LewisVsendurantism: (Lewis 1986a, 203) this view uses the terms "part" and "whole" in a very limited sense.
StalnakerVsLewis: that may not be quite so because the representatives acknowledge that some things e.g. football matches, wars, centuries indeed have temporal parts.
endurantism/Stalnaker: even if the whole thing is an obscure doctrine some intuitions speak for it. I will neither defend nor fight him.
endurantism: example restaurants:
In 1865 there is only one restaurant "Bookbinder's" there are no other candidates for this description. Even if our criterion for "restaurant" is unclear.
It seems that we have a definite reference for an endurant thing B0.
Also for the today existing restaurant B1 we seem to have definite reference.
Salmon/Stalnaker: if we accept his argument again, there must then be a fact which decides whether B0 is identical to B1 or not?
StalnakerVs: here the semantic indeterminacy may be subtle but it still exists. We show this like that:
Identity in time/Stalnaker: example statue/clay: yesterday there was the pile, today the statue, so both can not be identical. They have different historical properties. This known argument does not require four dimensionalism.
Four dimensionalism/statue/clay/Stalnaker: statue and pile as four dimensional objects: here only parts of them exist today.
endurantism/statue/clay/Stalnaker: if we say both - Statue and pile - are at today "fully present" (it would have to be explained how) Salmon's argument still shows that both are (now) different. The argument does not depend on the fact that they have different parts. It requires only that they have different historical properties.
endurantism/Stalnaker: example restaurants: suppose the concept Restaurant is indefinite. After some arbitrary clarifications B0 = B1 will be, after others B0 = B2.
Disambiguation/Stalnaker: then B0 has after some disambiguations temporal properties it would not have after other disambiguations.
Semantic indeterminacy/reference/StalnakerVsSalmon, Nathan: the reference of "B0" is then dependent on the way of our arbitrary assumptions for disambiguation.
SalmonVsStalnaker/Stalnaker: accuses me of some inconsistencies but I have shown indeterminacy of reference while Salmon refers to indeterminacy of identity between certain objects.

Stalnaker I
R. Stalnaker
Ways a World may be Oxford New York 2003

The author or concept searched is found in the following disputes of scientific camps.
Disputed term/author/ism Pro/Versus
Endurantism Versus Stalnaker I 136
Endurantism: Thesis: temporally extended things (continuants) are fully present in every moment (even past) Vs: Lewis, Stalnaker - opposite position: perdurantism: Things are not present during their entire history at all (temporal) parts.

Stalnaker I
R. Stalnaker
Ways a World may be Oxford New York 2003

The author or concept searched is found in the following 3 theses of the more related field of specialization.
Disputed term/author/ism Author
Vs endurantism Lewis, D. Schw I 31
Def Perdurantism / Schwarz: thesis that temporally extended things usually consist of temporal parts.
Schw I 32
Def Endurantism / Schwarz: (VsPerdurantism): things are at all times, to which they exist, all (not just partially) present (such as Aristotelian universals). LewisVsendurantism (instead: mosaic theory).
Vs endurantism Stalnaker, R. I 136
(aus Lewis/Schwarz 30) Def perdurantismus/Schwarz: These dass zeitlich ausgedehnte Dinge gewöhnlich aus zeitlichen Teilen bestehen - I 31 - Def endurantismus/Schwarz: (Vs perdurantismus): These Dinge sind zu jeder Zeit, zu der sie existieren, ganz (nicht nur zum Teil) anwesend (wie aristotelische Universalien) - perdurantismus: kann Objekte als vierdimensional, zeitlich genauso wie räumlich erstreckt auffassen - endurantismus: auch er kann annehmen, dass Objekte zeitliche Teile haben - Bsp Fußballspiel -
perdurantismus/Perduration/Stalnaker: Bsp wenn wir sagen die Bezeichnung "B0" reicht zurück in die Zeit von 1865, wo es ein gewisses Restaurant "Bookbinders" gab, ist das die natürlichste Weise.
endurantismus/Enduration/Stalnaker: Bsp wir können aber auch sagen, B0 ist eins der beiden heute existierenden Restaurants -žBookbinders-œ.
StalnakerVs endurantismus.
Vague Identtity Stalnaker, R. I 135f
vague identity / Stalnaker: E.g. two seafood restaurants "Bookbinders" - only one can be the same as the original - endurantism: Problem: "B0" (the original) is then an ambiguous term - perdurantism: here it is unique.