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The Journal of Philosophy

Volume 113, Issue 10, October 2016

Antony Eagle
Pages 507-532
DOI: 10.5840/jphil20161131035

Persistence, Vagueness, and Location

This article discusses two arguments in favor of perdurance. The first is Sider’s argument from vagueness, “one of the most powerful” in favor of perdurantism. I make the observation that endurantists have principled grounds to claim that the argument is unsound, at least if endurance is formulated in locative rather than mereological terms. Having made this observation, I use it to emphasize a somewhat neglected difference between endurantists and perdurantists with respect to their views on material objects. These views, in the case of endurantists, lead to a further, less than conclusive but nevertheless interesting argument against endurantism—the anti-fundamentality argument—which I discuss and tentatively endorse. That argument posits that endurantists must take location to be a fundamental relation, and that this has as a consequence the metaphysical possibility of some rather unwelcome scenarios. Perdurantists may avoid this consequence by denying that location is fundamental, perhaps by embracing supersubstantivalism.