Topology

Edited by Nemi Boris Pelgrom (Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München)
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  1. A Pre-formal Proof of Why No Planar Map Needs More Than Four Colours.Bhupinder Singh Anand - manuscript
    Although the Four Colour Theorem is passe, we give an elementary pre-formal proof that transparently illustrates why four colours suffice to chromatically differentiate any set of contiguous, simply connected and bounded, planar spaces; by showing that there is no minimal 4-coloured planar map M. We note that such a pre-formal proof of the Four Colour Theorem highlights the significance of differentiating between: (a) Plato's knowledge as justified true belief, which seeks a formal proof in a first-order mathematical language in order (...)
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  2. Why did Fermat believe he had `a truly marvellous demonstration' of FLT?Bhupinder Singh Anand - manuscript
    Conventional wisdom dictates that proofs of mathematical propositions should be treated as necessary, and sufficient, for entailing `significant' mathematical truths only if the proofs are expressed in a---minimally, deemed consistent---formal mathematical theory in terms of: * Axioms/Axiom schemas * Rules of Deduction * Definitions * Lemmas * Theorems * Corollaries. Whilst Andrew Wiles' proof of Fermat's Last Theorem FLT, which appeals essentially to geometrical properties of real and complex numbers, can be treated as meeting this criteria, it nevertheless leaves two (...)
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  3. Cosmic Topology, Underdetermination, and Spatial Infinity.Patrick James Ryan - 2024 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 14 (17):1-28.
    It is well-known that the global structure of every space-time model for relativistic cosmology is observationally underdetermined. In order to alleviate the severity of this underdetermination, it has been proposed that we adopt the Cosmological Principle because the Principle restricts our attention to a distinguished class of space-time models (spatially homogeneous and isotropic models). I argue that, even assuming the Cosmological Principle, the topology of space remains observationally underdetermined. Nonetheless, I argue that we can muster reasons to prefer various topological (...)
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  4. Who's Afraid of Mathematical Diagrams?Silvia De Toffoli - 2023 - Philosophers' Imprint 23 (1).
    Mathematical diagrams are frequently used in contemporary mathematics. They are, however, widely seen as not contributing to the justificatory force of proofs: they are considered to be either mere illustrations or shorthand for non-diagrammatic expressions. Moreover, when they are used inferentially, they are seen as threatening the reliability of proofs. In this paper, I examine certain examples of diagrams that resist this type of dismissive characterization. By presenting two diagrammatic proofs, one from topology and one from algebra, I show that (...)
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  5. Don’t forget the boundary problem! How EM field topology can address the overlooked cousin to the binding problem for consciousness.Andrés Gómez-Emilsson & Chris Percy - 2023 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 17:1233119.
    The boundary problem is related to the binding problem, part of a family of puzzles and phenomenal experiences that theories of consciousness (ToC) must either explain or eliminate. By comparison with the phenomenal binding problem, the boundary problem has received very little scholarly attention since first framed in detail by Rosengard in 1998, despite discussion by Chalmers in his widely cited 2016 work on the combination problem. However, any ToC that addresses the binding problem must also address the boundary problem. (...)
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  6. Топология субъектности.Andrej Poleev - 2023 - Enzymes 21.
    Техника представления информации о внешнем и внутреннем мире постоянно развивается, и сейчас она достигла уровня отображения реальности в многообразных её проявлениях и измерениях, прежде недоступных человеческому восприятию. Язык, текст, фотография, звукозапись, а теперь ещё и техника искусственного интеллекта для моделирования человеческой субъектности и её описания в доступной для человеческого понимания форме, стали эпохальными событиями в теории информации. Однако несмотря на то, что на данном этапе её развития она позволяет оперировать с непрерывно возрастающими объёмами информации, это не приближает её теоретиков к (...)
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  7. Not so distinctively mathematical explanations: topology and dynamical systems.Aditya Jha, Douglas Campbell, Clemency Montelle & Phillip L. Wilson - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-40.
    So-called ‘distinctively mathematical explanations’ (DMEs) are said to explain physical phenomena, not in terms of contingent causal laws, but rather in terms of mathematical necessities that constrain the physical system in question. Lange argues that the existence of four or more equilibrium positions of any double pendulum has a DME. Here we refute both Lange’s claim itself and a strengthened and extended version of the claim that would pertain to any n-tuple pendulum system on the ground that such explanations are (...)
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  8. Topological Explanations: An Opinionated Appraisal.Daniel Kostić - 2022 - In I. Lawler, E. Shech & K. Khalifa (eds.), Scientific Understanding and Representation: Modeling in the Physical Sciences. Routledge. pp. 96-115.
    This chapter provides a systematic overview of topological explanations in the philosophy of science literature. It does so by presenting an account of topological explanation that I (Kostić and Khalifa 2021; Kostić 2020a; 2020b; 2018) have developed in other publications and then comparing this account to other accounts of topological explanation. Finally, this appraisal is opinionated because it highlights some problems in alternative accounts of topological explanations, and also it outlines responses to some of the main criticisms raised by the (...)
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  9. Topological Models of Columnar Vagueness.Thomas Mormann - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (2):693 - 716.
    This paper intends to further the understanding of the formal properties of (higher-order) vagueness by connecting theories of (higher-order) vagueness with more recent work in topology. First, we provide a “translation” of Bobzien's account of columnar higher-order vagueness into the logic of topological spaces. Since columnar vagueness is an essential ingredient of her solution to the Sorites paradox, a central problem of any theory of vagueness comes into contact with the modern mathematical theory of topology. Second, Rumfitt’s recent topological reconstruction (...)
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  10. Extension and Self-Connection.Ben Blumson & Manikaran Singh - 2021 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 30 (3):435-59.
    If two self-connected individuals are connected, it follows in classical extensional mereotopology that the sum of those individuals is self-connected too. Since mainland Europe and mainland Asia, for example, are both self-connected and connected to each other, mainland Eurasia is also self-connected. In contrast, in non-extensional mereotopologies, two individuals may have more than one sum, in which case it does not follow from their being self-connected and connected that the sum of those individuals is self-connected too. Nevertheless, one would still (...)
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  11. Topology of Balasaguni's Kutadgu Bilig. Thinking the Between.Onur Karamercan - 2021 - In Takeshi Morisato & Roman Pașca (eds.), Vanishing Subjectivity: Flower, Shame, and Direct Cultivation in Asian PhilosophiesAsian Philosophical Texts, no. 3. pp. 69-97.
    In “Topology of Balasaguni’s Kutadgu Bilig: Thinking the Between,” Onur Karamercan focuses on the philosophical dimension of Kutadgu Bilig, a poetic work of Yūsuf Balasaguni, an 11th century Central Asian thinker, poet, and statesman. Karamercan pays special attention to the meaning of betweenness and, in the first step of his argument, discusses the hermeneutic and topological implications of the between, distingushing the dynamic sense of betweenness from a static sense of in-betweenness. He then moves on to analyze Balasaguni’s notion of (...)
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  12. Część i Całość: W Stronę Topoontologii (Part and Whole: Towards Topoontology).Bartłomiej Skowron - 2021 - Warsaw: Oficyna Wydawnicza Politechniki Warszawskiej, 2021..
    part, whole, ideal quality, foundation, unity, space, topoontology, topophilosophy, formal ontology, topology, mathematical philosophy, topology, topology of the person, topology of mind, mathematics in philosophy, mereology, mereotopology, phenomenology, Benedict Bornstein, Edmund Husserl, Roman Ingarden, Kurt Lewin, René Thom.
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  13. Reconciling Rigor and Intuition.Silvia De Toffoli - 2020 - Erkenntnis 86 (6):1783-1802.
    Criteria of acceptability for mathematical proofs are field-dependent. In topology, though not in most other domains, it is sometimes acceptable to appeal to visual intuition to support inferential steps. In previous work :829–842, 2014; Lolli, Panza, Venturi From logic to practice, Springer, Berlin, 2015; Larvor Mathematical cultures, Springer, Berlin, 2016) my co-author and I aimed at spelling out how topological proofs work on their own terms, without appealing to formal proofs which might be associated with them. In this article, I (...)
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  14. From the four-color theorem to a generalizing “four-letter theorem”: A sketch for “human proof” and the philosophical interpretation.Vasil Penchev - 2020 - Logic and Philosophy of Mathematics eJournal (Elsevier: SSRN) 12 (21):1-10.
    The “four-color” theorem seems to be generalizable as follows. The four-letter alphabet is sufficient to encode unambiguously any set of well-orderings including a geographical map or the “map” of any logic and thus that of all logics or the DNA plan of any alive being. Then the corresponding maximally generalizing conjecture would state: anything in the universe or mind can be encoded unambiguously by four letters. That admits to be formulated as a “four-letter theorem”, and thus one can search for (...)
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  15. Peirce's Topical Continuum: A “Thicker” Theory.Jon Alan Schmidt - 2020 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 56 (1):62-80.
    Although Peirce frequently insisted that continuity was a core component of his philosophical thought, his conception of it evolved considerably during his lifetime, culminating in a theory grounded primarily in topical geometry. Two manuscripts, one of which has never before been published, reveal that his formulation of this approach was both earlier and more thorough than most scholars seem to have realized. Combining these and other relevant texts with the better-known passages highlights a key ontological distinction: a collection is bottom-up, (...)
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  16. Drawing Boundaries.Barry Smith - 2019 - In Timothy Tambassi (ed.), The Philosophy of GIS. New York: Springer. pp. 137-158.
    In “On Drawing Lines on a Map” (1995), I suggested that the different ways we have of drawing lines on maps open up a new perspective on ontology, resting on a distinction between two sorts of boundaries: fiat and bona fide. “Fiat” means, roughly: human-demarcation-induced. “Bona fide” means, again roughly: a boundary constituted by some real physical discontinuity. I presented a general typology of boundaries based on this opposition and showed how it generates a corresponding typology of the different sorts (...)
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  17. A diagrammatic representation for entities and mereotopological relations in ontologies.José M. Parente de Oliveira & Barry Smith - 2017 - In José M. Parente de Oliveira & Barry Smith (eds.), CEUR, vol. 1908.
    In the graphical representation of ontologies, it is customary to use graph theory as the representational background. We claim here that the standard graph-based approach has a number of limitations. We focus here on a problem in the graph-based representation of ontologies in complex domains such as biomedical, engineering and manufacturing: lack of mereotopological representation. Based on such limitation, we proposed a diagrammatic way to represent an entity’s structure and various forms of mereotopological relationships between the entities.
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  18. A visual representation of part-whole relationships in BFO-conformant ontologies.Jose M. Parente de Oliveira & Barry Smith - 2017 - In Á Rocha, A. M. Correia, H. Adeli, L. P. Reis & S. Costanzo (eds.), Recent Advances in Information Systems and Technologies (Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, 569). Springer. pp. 184-194.
    In the visual representation of ontologies, in particular of part-whole relationships, it is customary to use graph theory as the representational background. We claim here that the standard graph-based approach has a number of limitations, and we propose instead a new representation of part-whole structures for ontologies, and describe the results of experiments designed to show the effectiveness of this new proposal especially as concerns reduction of visual complexity. The proposal is developed to serve visualization of ontologies conformant to the (...)
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  19. Poincaré on the Foundation of Geometry in the Understanding.Jeremy Shipley - 2017 - In Maria Zack & Dirk Schlimm (eds.), Research in History and Philosophy of Mathematics: The CSHPM 2016 Annual Meeting in Calgary, Alberta. Springer. pp. 19-37.
    This paper is about Poincaré’s view of the foundations of geometry. According to the established view, which has been inherited from the logical positivists, Poincaré, like Hilbert, held that axioms in geometry are schemata that provide implicit definitions of geometric terms, a view he expresses by stating that the axioms of geometry are “definitions in disguise.” I argue that this view does not accord well with Poincaré’s core commitment in the philosophy of geometry: the view that geometry is the study (...)
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  20. Envisioning Transformations – The Practice of Topology.Silvia De Toffoli & Valeria Giardino - 2016 - In Brendan Larvor (ed.), Mathematical Cultures: The London Meetings 2012-2014. Springer International Publishing. pp. 25-50.
    The objective of this article is twofold. First, a methodological issue is addressed. It is pointed out that even if philosophers of mathematics have been recently more and more concerned with the practice of mathematics, there is still a need for a sharp definition of what the targets of a philosophy of mathematical practice should be. Three possible objects of inquiry are put forward: (1) the collective dimension of the practice of mathematics; (2) the cognitives capacities requested to the practitioners; (...)
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  21. An Inquiry into the Practice of Proving in Low-Dimensional Topology.Silvia De Toffoli & Valeria Giardino - 2014 - In Giorgio Venturi, Marco Panza & Gabriele Lolli (eds.), From Logic to Practice: Italian Studies in the Philosophy of Mathematics. Cham: Springer International Publishing. pp. 315-336.
    The aim of this article is to investigate specific aspects connected with visualization in the practice of a mathematical subfield: low-dimensional topology. Through a case study, it will be established that visualization can play an epistemic role. The background assumption is that the consideration of the actual practice of mathematics is relevant to address epistemological issues. It will be shown that in low-dimensional topology, justifications can be based on sequences of pictures. Three theses will be defended. First, the representations used (...)
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  22. Global and local.James Franklin - 2014 - Mathematical Intelligencer 36 (4).
    The global/local contrast is ubiquitous in mathematics. This paper explains it with straightforward examples. It is possible to build a circular staircase that is rising at any point (locally) but impossible to build one that rises at all points and comes back to where it started (a global restriction). Differential equations describe the local structure of a process; their solution describes the global structure that results. The interplay between global and local structure is one of the great themes of mathematics, (...)
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  23. Mathematical Forms and Forms of Mathematics: Leaving the Shores of Extensional Mathematics.Jean-Pierre Marquis - 2013 - Synthese 190 (12):2141-2164.
    In this paper, I introduce the idea that some important parts of contemporary pure mathematics are moving away from what I call the extensional point of view. More specifically, these fields are based on criteria of identity that are not extensional. After presenting a few cases, I concentrate on homotopy theory where the situation is particularly clear. Moreover, homotopy types are arguably fundamental entities of geometry, thus of a large portion of mathematics, and potentially to all mathematics, at least according (...)
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  24. Topology as an Issue for History of Philosophy of Science.Thomas Mormann - 2013 - In Hanne Andersen, Dennis Dieks, Wenceslao J. Gonzalez, Thomas Uebel & Gregory Wheeler (eds.), New Challenges to Philosophy of Science. Springer. pp. 423--434.
    Since antiquity well into the beginnings of the 20th century geometry was a central topic for philosophy. Since then, however, most philosophers of science, if they took notice of topology at all, considered it as an abstruse subdiscipline of mathematics lacking philosophical interest. Here it is argued that this neglect of topology by philosophy may be conceived of as the sign of a conceptual sea-change in philosophy of science that expelled geometry, and, more generally, mathematics, from the central position it (...)
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  25. On Place and Space: The Ontology of the Eruv.Barry Smith - 2007 - In Christian Kanzian (ed.), Cultures: Conflict – Analysis – Dialogue. Ontos. pp. 403-416.
    ‘Eruv’ is a Hebrew word meaning literally ‘mixture’ or ‘mingling’. An eruv is an urban region demarcated within a larger urban region by means of a boundary made up of telephone wires or similar markers. Through the creation of the eruv, the smaller region is turned symbolically (halachically = according to Jewish law) into a private domain. So long as they remain within the boundaries of the eruv, Orthodox Jews may engage in activities that would otherwise be prohibited on the (...)
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  26. What is Radical Recursion?Steven M. Rosen - 2004 - SEED Journal 4 (1):38-57.
    Recursion or self-reference is a key feature of contemporary research and writing in semiotics. The paper begins by focusing on the role of recursion in poststructuralism. It is suggested that much of what passes for recursion in this field is in fact not recursive all the way down. After the paradoxical meaning of radical recursion is adumbrated, topology is employed to provide some examples. The properties of the Moebius strip prove helpful in bringing out the dialectical nature of radical recursion. (...)
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  27. Mereotopological Connection.Anthony G. Cohn & Achille C. Varzi - 2003 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 32 (4):357-390.
    The paper outlines a model-theoretic framework for investigating and comparing a variety of mereotopological theories. In the first part we consider different ways of characterizing a mereotopology with respect to (i) the intended interpretation of the connection primitive, and (ii) the composition of the admissible domains of quantification (e.g., whether or not they include boundary elements). The second part extends this study by considering two further dimensions along which different patterns of topological connection can be classified - the strength of (...)
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  28. Topological Essentialism.Roberto Casati & Achille Varzi - 2000 - Philosophical Studies 100 (3):217-236.
    Considering topology as an extension of mereology, this paper analyses topological variants of mereological essentialism (the thesis that an object could not have different parts than the ones it has). In particular, we examine de dicto and de re versions of two theses: (i) that an object cannot change its external connections (e.g., adjacent objects cannot be separated), and (ii) that an object cannot change its topological genus (e.g., a doughnut cannot turn into a sphere). Stronger forms of structural essentialism, (...)
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  29. The niche.Barry Smith & Achille C. Varzi - 1999 - Noûs 33 (2):214-238.
    The concept of niche (setting, context, habitat, environment) has been little studied by ontologists, in spite of its wide application in a variety of disciplines from evolutionary biology to economics. What follows is a first formal theory of this concept, a theory of the relations between objects and their niches. The theory builds upon existing work on mereology, topology, and the theory of spatial location as tools of formal ontology. It will be illustrated above all by means of simple biological (...)
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  30. Boundaries: A Brentanian Theory.Barry Smith - 1998 - Brentano Studien 8:107-114.
    According to Brentano's theory of boundaries, no boundary can exist without being connected with a continuum. But there is no specifiable part of the continuum, and no point, which is such that we may say that it is the existence of that part or of that point which conditions the boundary. - An adequate theory of the continuum must now recognize that boundaries be boundaries only in certain directions and not in others. This leads to consequences in other areas, too.
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  31. Countable fusion not yet proven guilty: it may be the Whiteheadian account of space whatdunnit.G. Oppy - 1997 - Analysis 57 (4):249-253.
    I criticise a paper by Peter Forrest in which he argues that a principle of unrestricted countable fusion has paradoxical consequences. I argue that the paradoxical consequences that he exhibits may be due to his Whiteheadean assumptions about the nature of spacetime rather than to the principle of unrestricted countable fusion.
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  32. The formal ontology of boundaries.Barry Smith & Achille C. Varzi - 1997 - Electronic Journal of Analytic Philosophy 5 (5).
    Revised version published as Barry Smith and Achille Varzi, “Fiat and Bona Fide Boundaries”, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 60: 2 (March 2000), 401–420.
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  33. Boundaries, continuity, and contact.Achille C. Varzi - 1997 - Noûs 31 (1):26-58.
    There are conflicting intuitions concerning the status of a boundary separating two adjacent entities (or two parts of the same entity). The boundary cannot belong to both things, for adjacency excludes overlap; and it cannot belong to neither, for nothing lies between two adjacent things. Yet how can the dilemma be avoided without assigning the boundary to one thing or the other at random? Some philosophers regard this as a reductio of the very notion of a boundary, which should accordingly (...)
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  34. Mereotopology: A theory of parts and boundaries.Barry Smith - 1996 - Data and Knowledge Engineering 20 (3):287–303.
    The paper is a contribution to formal ontology. It seeks to use topological means in order to derive ontological laws pertaining to the boundaries and interiors of wholes, to relations of contact and connectedness, to the concepts of surface, point, neighbourhood, and so on. The basis of the theory is mereology, the formal theory of part and whole, a theory which is shown to have a number of advantages, for ontological purposes, over standard treatments of topology in set-theoretic terms. One (...)
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  35. Parts, Wholes, and Part-Whole Relations: The Prospects of Mereotopology.Achille C. Varzi - 1996 - Data and Knowledge Engineering 20:259–286.
    We can see mereology as a theory of parthood and topology as a theory of wholeness. How can these be combined to obtain a unified theory of parts and wholes? This paper examines various non-equivalent ways of pursuing this task, with specific reference to its relevance to spatio-temporal reasoning. In particular, three main strategies are compared: (i) mereology and topology as two independent (though mutually related) chapters; (ii) mereology as a general theory subsuming topology; (iii) topology as a general theory (...)
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  36. Reasoning about Space: The Hole Story.Achille C. Varzi - 1996 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 4:3-39.
    This is a revised and extended version of the formal theory of holes outlined in the Appendix to the book "Holes and Other Superficialities". The first part summarizes the basic framework (ontology, mereology, topology, morphology). The second part emphasizes its relevance to spatial reasoning and to the semantics of spatial prepositions in natural language. In particular, I discuss the semantics of ‘in’ and provide an account of such fallacious arguments as “There is a hole in the sheet. The sheet is (...)
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  37. Fiat objects.Barry Smith - 1994 - In Nicola Guarino, Laure Vieu & Simone Pribbenow (eds.), Parts and Wholes: Conceptual Part-Whole Relations and Formal Mereology, 11th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Amsterdam, 8 August 1994, Amsterdam:. European Coordinating Committee for Artificial Intelligence. pp. 14-22.
    Human cognitive acts are directed towards entities of a wide range of different types. What follows is a new proposal for bringing order into this typological clutter. A categorial scheme for the objects of human cognition should be (1) critical and realistic. Cognitive subjects are liable to error, even to systematic error of the sort that is manifested by believers in the Pantheon of Olympian gods. Thus not all putative object-directed acts should be recognized as having objects of their own. (...)
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  38. Ontology and the logistic analysis of reality.Barry Smith - 1993 - In Nicola Guarino & Roberto Poli (eds.), Proceedings of the International Workshop on Formal Ontology in Conceptual Analysis and Knowledge Representation. Italian National Research Council. pp. 51-68.
    I shall attempt in what follows to show how mereology, taken together with certain topological notions, can yield the basis for future investigations in formal ontology. I shall attempt to show also how the mereological framework here advanced can allow the direct and natural formulation of a series of theses – for example pertaining to the concept of boundary – which can be formulated only indirectly (if at all) in set-theoretic terms.
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  39. Topological Foundations of Cognitive Science.Carola Eschenbach, Christopher Habel & Barry Smith (eds.) - 1984 - Hamburg: Graduiertenkolleg Kognitionswissenschaft.
    A collection of papers presented at the First International Summer Institute in Cognitive Science, University at Buffalo, July 1994, including the following papers: ** Topological Foundations of Cognitive Science, Barry Smith ** The Bounds of Axiomatisation, Graham White ** Rethinking Boundaries, Wojciech Zelaniec ** Sheaf Mereology and Space Cognition, Jean Petitot ** A Mereotopological Definition of 'Point', Carola Eschenbach ** Discreteness, Finiteness, and the Structure of Topological Spaces, Christopher Habel ** Mass Reference and the Geometry of Solids, Almerindo E. Ojeda (...)
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  40. The impact of Heideggerian topology on contemporary architectural theory: the philosophical prerequisites of an architecture as λέγειν.Christos Giannakakis - manuscript
    The thesis aims to address the issue of 'philosophical topology' in Martin Heidegger's work and to identify its possible impact on contemporary architectural theory. Topology construes space and spatiality as a basic category for the constitution of meaning, in contrast to the traditionally prevalent category of Reason. This thesis argues that what is called 'reason' in Heidegger is not an a priori function of cognition, but is derived by the fundamental characteristic of human existence, which is its ability to create. (...)
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  41. The Contact Algebra of the Euclidean Plane has Infinitely Many Elements.Thomas Mormann - manuscript
    Abstract. Let REL(O*E) be the relation algebra of binary relations defined on the Boolean algebra O*E of regular open regions of the Euclidean plane E. The aim of this paper is to prove that the canonical contact relation C of O*E generates a subalgebra REL(O*E, C) of REL(O*E) that has infinitely many elements. More precisely, REL(O*,C) contains an infinite family {SPPn, n ≥ 1} of relations generated by the relation SPP (Separable Proper Part). This relation can be used to define (...)
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  42. The logic and topology of Kant's temporal continuum.Riccardo Pinosio & Michiel van Lambalgen - manuscript
    In this article we provide a mathematical model of Kant?s temporal continuum that satisfies the (not obviously consistent) synthetic a priori principles for time that Kant lists in the Critique of pure Reason (CPR), the Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science (MFNS), the Opus Postumum and the notes and frag- ments published after his death. The continuum so obtained has some affinities with the Brouwerian continuum, but it also has ‘infinitesimal intervals’ consisting of nilpotent infinitesimals, which capture Kant’s theory of rest (...)
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