Friday, July 22, 2005

3Dism and 4Dism

Aha - something I've suspected for a while but been rebuked for thinking has been defended in print by someone else. In a recent paper in Erkenntnis (the link requires a subscription), Kristie Miller argues that three-dimensionalist and four-dimensionalist views about persistance are intertranslatable, equally simple, and equally explanatory. Though I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say they're 'metaphysically equivalent' as she does (I guess I hear that as conveying a bit more than she intends by it, as captured by her four clauses on p. 92), I have often wondered whether the two theories are really just two ways of describing the same underlying facts, and if so how much really hangs on which of them we choose.

6 comments:

Aidan said...

How does this differ from the point Jonathan Lowe has been defending for some time (for example, at the first parts workshop in St Andrews)? I thought that was exactly the line he took - that there's no substantial disagreement between 3-D and 4-D views, and that there's no substantial debate to be had about which one to favour.

(Sadly Lowe doesn't have any list of publications on his website, or I'd post a link to something germane)

Carrie Jenkins said...

Hi Aidan,
Here's a link to something that looks germane:
http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/journals/analysis/preprints/McCALL.pdf
The Miller paper is quite a lot more detailed than this though (although it may be that Lowe and/or McCall may have other more detailed workings published elsewhere. I wasn't in St Andrews for the workshop you mention so didn't get to hear Lowe on this topic then). Thanks for pointing out that there are others who share this type of view though!

Aidan said...

Ok, thanks for the link. Glad to see my memory hadn't failed me for once.

Robbie said...

Hiya Carrie! Could you possibly summarize the way that the argument/translation goes? The erkenntnis wall is blocking me out...

Carrie Jenkins said...

Hi Robbie,
Rather than risk a summary, here's an alternative link to an html version on the uq website:
http://eprint.uq.edu.au/archive/00001104/01/3D4DEHTML.DOC
Hope this works!

Dan López de Sa said...

Hi all!

This was also the theme of Sidelle's "Is there a true metaphyscs of material objects?", http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/bpl/nous/2002/00000036/A00100s1/art00415;jsessionid=2khed14gph9b0.victoria.

Best, Dan