Metaphysics and Physics
There is a raging controversy on how things persist through time. This disagreement represents the core of the debate in the metaphysics of persistence. In the last decade, advancements in the debate on persistence have mostly come from a corner in philosophy of physics. What is now regarded as a crucial distinction between mereological accounts and locational accounts of persistence, was drawn withing the context of relativistic spacetimes. Relativity has also played a major role in developing new arguments in favor of a particular metaphysics of persistence, namely four-dimensionalism. By contrast, new arguments coming from quantum mechanics seem to point to the fact that the most traditional variants of such a metaphysical thesis are unsatisfactory if not untenable. In the seminar we will discuss these and other central issues in the metaphysics and physics of persistence. While the focus will mostly be on physics and metaphysics, we will address questions of persistence in the history of philosophy and within the arts as well.