Temporal Parts

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Abstract

This article discusses recent work in metaphysics on temporal parts. After a short introduction introducing the notion of a temporal part, we examine several well-known arguments for the view that ordinary material objects such as tables, trees, and persons have temporal parts: (1) positing temporal parts makes it possible to solve puzzles of coincidence (e.g., the statue/lump puzzle); (2) positing temporal parts makes it possible to solve the problem of intrinsic change over time; and (3) the existence of temporal parts can be demonstrated based on considerations about vagueness in composition. We conclude by examining briefly a recent argument that the dispute over whether there are temporal parts is merely verbal.

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