Philosophical Studies

, Volume 168, Issue 3, pp 583–597 | Cite as

Neo-Aristotelian Plenitude



Plenitude, roughly, the thesis that for any non-empty region of spacetime there is a material object that is exactly located at that region, is often thought to be part and parcel of the standard Lewisian package in the metaphysics of persistence. While the wedding of plentitude and Lewisian four-dimensionalism is a natural one indeed, there are a hand-full of dissenters who argue against the notion that Lewisian four-dimensionalism has exclusive rights to plentitude. These ‘promiscuous’ three-dimensionalists argue that a temporalized version of plenitude is entirely compatible with a three-dimensional ontology of enduring entities. While few would deny the coherence of such a position, and much work has been done by its proponents to appease critics, there has been surprisingly little by way of exploring the various forms such an ontology might take as well as the potential advantages of one plenitudinous three-dimensional ontology over another. Here I develop a novel form of plenitudinous three-dimensionalism, what John Hawthorne (Metaphysical essays, 2006a, b) has called “Neo-Aristotelian Plenitude,” and argue that if one is inclined to endorse an abundant three-dimensional ontology, one is wise to opt for a plenitude of accidental unities.


Persistence Plenitude Three-dimensionalism Four-dimensionalism Hylomorphism Thomas Aquinas Truthmaking Temporary Intrinsics 


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Trinity CollegeDublinIreland

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