Citation for this page in APA citation style.           Close


Mortimer Adler
Rogers Albritton
Alexander of Aphrodisias
Samuel Alexander
William Alston
Louise Antony
Thomas Aquinas
David Armstrong
Harald Atmanspacher
Robert Audi
Alexander Bain
Mark Balaguer
Jeffrey Barrett
William Belsham
Henri Bergson
George Berkeley
Isaiah Berlin
Richard J. Bernstein
Bernard Berofsky
Robert Bishop
Max Black
Susanne Bobzien
Emil du Bois-Reymond
Hilary Bok
Laurence BonJour
George Boole
émile Boutroux
Michael Burke
Joseph Keim Campbell
Rudolf Carnap
Ernst Cassirer
David Chalmers
Roderick Chisholm
Randolph Clarke
Samuel Clarke
Anthony Collins
Antonella Corradini
Diodorus Cronus
Jonathan Dancy
Donald Davidson
Mario De Caro
Daniel Dennett
Jacques Derrida
René Descartes
Richard Double
Fred Dretske
John Dupré
John Earman
Laura Waddell Ekstrom
Herbert Feigl
John Martin Fischer
Owen Flanagan
Luciano Floridi
Philippa Foot
Alfred Fouilleé
Harry Frankfurt
Richard L. Franklin
Michael Frede
Gottlob Frege
Peter Geach
Edmund Gettier
Carl Ginet
Alvin Goldman
Nicholas St. John Green
H.Paul Grice
Ian Hacking
Ishtiyaque Haji
Stuart Hampshire
Sam Harris
William Hasker
Georg W.F. Hegel
Martin Heidegger
Thomas Hobbes
David Hodgson
Shadsworth Hodgson
Baron d'Holbach
Ted Honderich
Pamela Huby
David Hume
Ferenc Huoranszki
William James
Lord Kames
Robert Kane
Immanuel Kant
Tomis Kapitan
Jaegwon Kim
William King
Hilary Kornblith
Christine Korsgaard
Saul Kripke
Andrea Lavazza
Keith Lehrer
Gottfried Leibniz
Michael Levin
George Henry Lewes
David Lewis
Peter Lipton
C. Lloyd Morgan
John Locke
Michael Lockwood
E. Jonathan Lowe
John R. Lucas
Alasdair MacIntyre
Ruth Barcan Marcus
James Martineau
Storrs McCall
Hugh McCann
Colin McGinn
Michael McKenna
Brian McLaughlin
John McTaggart
Paul E. Meehl
Uwe Meixner
Alfred Mele
Trenton Merricks
John Stuart Mill
Dickinson Miller
Thomas Nagel
Otto Neurath
Friedrich Nietzsche
John Norton
Robert Nozick
William of Ockham
Timothy O'Connor
David F. Pears
Charles Sanders Peirce
Derk Pereboom
Steven Pinker
Karl Popper
Huw Price
Hilary Putnam
Willard van Orman Quine
Frank Ramsey
Ayn Rand
Michael Rea
Thomas Reid
Charles Renouvier
Nicholas Rescher
Richard Rorty
Josiah Royce
Bertrand Russell
Paul Russell
Gilbert Ryle
Jean-Paul Sartre
Kenneth Sayre
Moritz Schlick
Arthur Schopenhauer
John Searle
Wilfrid Sellars
Alan Sidelle
Ted Sider
Henry Sidgwick
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong
Saul Smilansky
Michael Smith
Baruch Spinoza
L. Susan Stebbing
Isabelle Stengers
George F. Stout
Galen Strawson
Peter Strawson
Eleonore Stump
Francisco Suárez
Richard Taylor
Kevin Timpe
Mark Twain
Peter Unger
Peter van Inwagen
Manuel Vargas
John Venn
Kadri Vihvelin
G.H. von Wright
David Foster Wallace
R. Jay Wallace
Ted Warfield
Roy Weatherford
William Whewell
Alfred North Whitehead
David Widerker
David Wiggins
Bernard Williams
Timothy Williamson
Ludwig Wittgenstein
Susan Wolf


Michael Arbib
Walter Baade
Bernard Baars
Gregory Bateson
John S. Bell
Charles Bennett
Ludwig von Bertalanffy
Susan Blackmore
Margaret Boden
David Bohm
Niels Bohr
Ludwig Boltzmann
Emile Borel
Max Born
Satyendra Nath Bose
Walther Bothe
Hans Briegel
Leon Brillouin
Stephen Brush
Henry Thomas Buckle
S. H. Burbury
Donald Campbell
Anthony Cashmore
Eric Chaisson
Jean-Pierre Changeux
Arthur Holly Compton
John Conway
John Cramer
E. P. Culverwell
Charles Darwin
Terrence Deacon
Lüder Deecke
Louis de Broglie
Max Delbrück
Abraham de Moivre
Paul Dirac
Hans Driesch
John Eccles
Arthur Stanley Eddington
Paul Ehrenfest
Albert Einstein
Hugh Everett, III
Franz Exner
Richard Feynman
R. A. Fisher
Joseph Fourier
Philipp Frank
Lila Gatlin
Michael Gazzaniga
GianCarlo Ghirardi
J. Willard Gibbs
Nicolas Gisin
Paul Glimcher
Thomas Gold
Brian Goodwin
Joshua Greene
Jacques Hadamard
Patrick Haggard
Stuart Hameroff
Augustin Hamon
Sam Harris
Hyman Hartman
John-Dylan Haynes
Donald Hebb
Martin Heisenberg
Werner Heisenberg
John Herschel
Art Hobson
Jesper Hoffmeyer
E. T. Jaynes
William Stanley Jevons
Roman Jakobson
Pascual Jordan
Ruth E. Kastner
Stuart Kauffman
Martin J. Klein
Simon Kochen
Hans Kornhuber
Stephen Kosslyn
Ladislav Kovà?
Rolf Landauer
Alfred Landé
Pierre-Simon Laplace
David Layzer
Benjamin Libet
Seth Lloyd
Hendrik Lorentz
Josef Loschmidt
Ernst Mach
Donald MacKay
Henry Margenau
James Clerk Maxwell
Ernst Mayr
John McCarthy
Ulrich Mohrhoff
Jacques Monod
Emmy Noether
Abraham Pais
Howard Pattee
Wolfgang Pauli
Massimo Pauri
Roger Penrose
Steven Pinker
Colin Pittendrigh
Max Planck
Susan Pockett
Henri Poincaré
Daniel Pollen
Ilya Prigogine
Hans Primas
Adolphe Quételet
Juan Roederer
Jerome Rothstein
David Ruelle
Erwin Schrödinger
Aaron Schurger
Claude Shannon
David Shiang
Herbert Simon
Dean Keith Simonton
B. F. Skinner
Roger Sperry
John Stachel
Henry Stapp
Tom Stonier
Antoine Suarez
Leo Szilard
Max Tegmark
William Thomson (Kelvin)
Peter Tse
Vlatko Vedral
Heinz von Foerster
John von Neumann
John B. Watson
Daniel Wegner
Steven Weinberg
Paul A. Weiss
John Wheeler
Wilhelm Wien
Norbert Wiener
Eugene Wigner
E. O. Wilson
H. Dieter Zeh
Ernst Zermelo
Wojciech Zurek
Fritz Zwicky


Free Will
Mental Causation
James Symposium
Change (Being and Becoming)

Change can be in the internal or intrinsic properties of a thing, or in its extrinsic relations to external objects, its dispositional properties like its coordinates. The primary view of change is a real, metaphysical change in a "thing itself." Some metaphysicians argue that this must be a change of identity. But this is wrong, because modest changes in the material substrate or the information content (shape and form, internal and external communications) do not an essential relative identity over time of an object.

Because of motion and microscopic physical events, all material things change in time. This is the idea of the Heraclitean "flux" or Platonic "Becoming."

Change means that the concept of "perfect or strict identity over time" is fundamentally flawed. Even in the case of a hypothetical completely inert object that could be protected from loss or gain of a single particle, its position coordinates in most spacetime frames are constantly changing. All the other objects in the universe are changing their spatial relations with the object.

Perfect identity over time is limited to unchanging ideas or concepts – Parmenidean "Being." These are some of the abstract entities, like numbers, simple universals, and logical truths.

The Eleatic followers of Parmenides, notably Zeno, invented his motion paradoxes – the Arrow, Achilles and the Tortoise – to deny change. Zeno's motion paradoxes and claims denying a plurality of beings – that "all is one" – still appear in elementary metaphysics textbooks.

Aristotle's hylomorphic theory of change argued that what persists over time is an underlying substrate (?ποκε?μενον), which he identified with matter (?λη ). This is his anticipation of the conservation of mass (now including energy).

But as with the puzzle of The Statue and Lump of Clay, Aristotle knew that the form (μορφο?) is an equal contributor to the essence of a substance (ο?σ?α).

The term “substance” (ο?σ?α) is used, if not in more, at least in four principal cases; for both the essence and the universal and the genus are held to be the substance of the particular (?κ?στου), and fourthly the substrate (?ποκε?μενον). The substrate is that of which the rest are predicated, while it is not itself predicated of anything else. Hence we must first determine its nature, for the primary substrate (?ποκε?μενον) is considered to be in the truest sense substance.

Now in one sense we call the matter (?λη ) the substrate; in another, the shape (μορφ?); and in a third, the combination Both matter and form and their combination are said to be substrate. of the two. By matter I mean, for instance, bronze; by shape, the arrangement of the form (τ? σχ?μα τ?? ?δ?α?); and by the combination of the two, the concrete thing: the statue (?νδρι??). Thus if the form is prior to the matter and more truly existent, by the same argument it will also be prior to the combination.

In some writing, Aristotle regards matter as individuating form. In others, it is the form that is essential. An active agent impresses the form on the matter. The matter assumes/acquires the form. The form of a cat impressed on undifferentiated matter actively gives the matter the form of a cat. The matter changes shape (μορφ?).

In other cases, a patient is "informed," by perceiving a form. A perceiver thinking about something acquires the form without the matter. Acquisition of the form is by impressing that form onto the material brain, embedding the information as an experience that is recorded (ERR).

Temporal Parts?
Another way to interpret (or deny) change is to claim that an entity ceases to exist at every instant and then is newly created at the next instant.

At each instant then, there is a new temporal part analogous to all the independent spatial parts. This analogy is severely flawed by an information analysis. Spatial parts have no essential (or accidental) properties in common. The information content can be arbitrarily different. The information content of successive "temporal parts." on the other hand, will have a high degree of identical information.

There will of course be some properties that change with time and others that persist.

Lowe, E. J. (1987)."Lewis on perdurance versus endurance." Analysis, 47(3), 152-154.
Normal | Teacher | Scholar