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Four-Dimensionalism: An Ontology of Persistence and Time (Mind Association Occasional Series) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 10. Februar 2005

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For many years to come, this is sure to be the locus classicus with respect to which all those engaged with the literature on persistence must position themselves. Kathrin Koslicki, Philosophical Review This is simply a superb book in metaphysics - handsomely written, cleverly argued, and exceedingly clear. Hud Hudson, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews Sider does not deny that this four-dimensionalist conception of persisting things is counterintuitive. His claim is that, all things considered, it yields a more coherent ontology than any of its competitors. His defence of this claim is impressive: bold, clear, wide-ranging and fair-minded; it is the best of its kind on offer. Barry Dainton, Times Literary Supplement


Four-Dimensionalism defends the thesis that the material world is composed of temporal as well as spatial parts. This defense includes a novel account of persistence over time, new arguments in favour of the four-dimensional ontology, and responses to the challenges four-dimensionalism faces. Theodore Sider pays particular attention to the philosophy of time, including a strong series of arguments against presentism, the thesis that only the present is real. Arguments offered in favour of four-dimensionalism include novel arguments based on time travel, the debate beween spacetime substantivalists and relationalists, and vagueness. Also included is a comprehensive discussion of the paradoxes of coinciding material objects, and a novel resolution of those paradoxes based on temporal counterpart theory. In conclusion Sider replies to prominent objections to four-dimensionalism, including discussion of the problem of the rotating homogenous disk. Four Dimensionalism is an original and highly readable study of the metaphysics of time and identity.

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48 von 51 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Best metaphysics book of the year! 16. Juli 2003
Von Ned M. - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Hud Hudson, in a review of Ted Sider's book, says, "This is simply a superb book in metaphysics - handsomely written, cleverly argued, and exceedingly clear." Of course, Hudson happens to agree with almost every thesis Sider defends in the book. But I don't. In fact, I happen to disagree with almost every position defended in Sider's book. So what do I think of the book? I think it is simply a superb book in metaphysics - handsomely written, cleverly argued, and exceedingly clear. And I think it is notable that both friends and foes of the views defended in the book will find it to be extremely valuable. That is a real mark of distinction in philosophy, and my hat is off to Sider for producing such an outstanding work.
What is the book about? Mainly the question of whether physical objects have temporal parts. A temporal part of x is, roughly, an object that exists for a shorter time than x but that exactly overlaps x throughout its existence. Sider believes, for example, that you have a temporal part that exists (only) from noon to 1pm today, and that perfectly overlaps you throughout that time. His view allows him to give neat and clean solutions to all manner of metaphysical problems (including the problem of how a time traveler who meets his former self could be both sitting and standing at the same time), and to do various other wonderful things.
Although this is primarily a work for academic philosophers, it is clear enough that non-philosophers will be able to follow it, and to benefit from a careful reading of it. I highly recommend Four-Dimensionalism to professional philosophers, philosophy students (both graduate and undergraduate), and anyone else who is interested in questions about time and space.
7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A (Suprisingly) Enjoyable Defense of Four-Dimensionalism 10. August 2010
Von A. Customer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
'Four-Dimensionalism' is a great book. Sider defends Four-Dimensionalism with great clarity and force. Four-Dimensionalism holds (roughly) that, just as you have spatial parts--e.g. hands, cells, simples, etc.--you have "temporal" parts. A temporal part is a part of you that exists at a certain time in your existence. A consequence of this view is that, at a particular moment, you don't "wholly" exist, because your existence is spread out in time. (Four-Dimensionalism contrasts with Three-Dimensionalism, which holds that you "wholly exist" at every moment you exist.) What's nice about this book is that it takes a difficult, possibly obscure, view and makes it a joy to read about.

The book begins with an "Introduction." Unlike most Introductions, Sider's is important to read because it begins by setting forth the philosophical method and picture Sider is utilizing. (In fact, at several points in the book, Sider falls back on the points he makes in the Introduction.) The book is divided into six chapters. The first presents the "Four-Dimensionalism" picture, and motivates it by showing its ability to handle certain conceptual problems. The second could stand alone, and is a defense of the "B-theory" of time, which Sider assumes for the remainder of the book. The third attempts to state exactly what the Three/Four-Dimensionalism fuss is about. The final three chapters, which take up the bulk of the book, constitute a defense of Four-Dimensionalism--the first two provide arguments for the view, the last defends it against objections. (The book also contains a sizable list of references.)

Sider's writing is clear and easy to follow. At points, things get difficult, and some knowledge of physics is helpful for several sections; but on a whole, a limited amount of specialized knowledge is sufficient to appreciate this book. One thing I liked about it was Sider's approach. He argues that--when all the votes are in--Four-Dimensionalism is the best view, which allows him to be frank about the various strengths of arguments for and against his view. Many of his arguments are persuasive, and he's fairly systematic, considering many different objections. In the end, I learned much from it and would recommend it to anyone interested in metaphysics, ontology, or philosophy of time.
Worth the Struggle 14. Oktober 2014
Von William M. Freese - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Not an easy read for the common man, but a fascinating exploration of an important philosophical idea, made more so by the revelations of modern physics. I enjoyed Ted Sider's writing, and hope to enjoy it even more the second time I read this book. First I must read "Riddles of Existence: A Guided Tour of Metaphysics," which I understand is directed to a more general audience.
Important ontology work 8. Februar 2015
Von Brian D. Babiak - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
A very solid modern work on ontology. Very useful results in all areas of philosophy, including my interests in the philosophy of identity and the theology of resurrection.
12 von 19 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A fabulous book! A pleasure to read! 3. November 2002
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This book should be required reading for anyone interested in analytic metaphysics. Not only is the book interesting in its own right, it also provides a model for what rigorous argumentation and clear presentation can be. I recommend it most highly!
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