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Abstract

The terms ‘endurance’ and ‘perdurance’ are commonly thought to denote distinct ways for an object to persist, but it is surprisingly hard to say what these are. The common approach, defining them in terms of temporal parts, is mistaken, because it does not lead to two coherent philosophical alternatives: endurance so understood becomes conceptually incoherent, while perdurance becomes not just true but a conceptual truth. Instead, we propose a different way to articulate the distinction, in terms of identity rather than temporal parts: an object endures if its identity is determined at every moment at which it exists. We make precise what it means for the identity of an object to be determined at a moment. We also discuss what role the endurance/perdurance distinction, so understood, should play in the debates about time, material objects and personal identity.