timespace

selections from An Informal Catalogue of Slit-Scan Video Artworks and Research

 

It is uncontroversial that physical objects are typically extended in both space and time. But there is some controversy in the philosophy of time over whether extension in time is analogous to extension in space. [. . .] On The 4D View, objects are to be thought of as four-dimensional “space-time worms,” each of which is made up of many different temporal parts, like the different spatial segments of an earthworm. An object at a time — Descartes in 1625, for example — is not the whole object but, rather, a mere part (a temporal part) of that object; and the relation between Descartes in 1625 and Descartes in 1635 is like the relation between the two wheels of a bicycle: they are different parts of a bigger whole. By contrast, on The 3D View, objects are to be thought of as three-dimensional things that are not made up of different temporal parts. On this view, an object at a time — Descartes in 1625, for example — is the same thing as the whole object — Descartes. Thus, according to The 3D View, the relation between Descartes in 1625 and Descartes in 1635 is the relation of identity: each one is just the same thing as Descartes.

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