Change, Temporal Parts, and the Argument from Vagueness



The so-called ‘argument from vagueness’ is among the most powerful and innovative arguments offered in support of the view that objects are four-dimensional perdurants. The argument is defective – I submit – and in a number of ways that are worth looking into. But each ‘defect’, each gap in the argument, corresponds to a model of change that is independently problematic and that can hardly be built into the common-sense picture of the world. So once all the gaps of the argument are filled in, the three-dimensionalist is left with the burden of a response that cannot rely on a passive plea for common sense. The argument is not a threat to common sense as such; it is a threat to the three-dimensionalist faithfulness to common sense.