Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, Lewis & Clark College

The Problem of Temporary Intrinsics

Added on by jay odenbaugh.

A temporary property is one that can be had at one time and not another. An intrinsic property is one that an object can have independent of anything else occurring in the universe. Consider your left hand which has five finger at t. Suppose at t*, you lose your thumb in which t < t*. If endurantism is true, you are wholly present at every time that you exist. This implies that you have both five and four fingers. But, this is impossible. Thus, perdurantists conclude that a temporal part of you has five fingers and a temporal part of you have four, but you, do not wholly exist at both t and t*. 

Endurantists can respond as follows. You are wholly present but the properties you have are five-fingers-at-t and four-fingers-at-t*. These properties can be had by you even if you are wholly present at every time at which you exist. 

How would a perdurantist respond?