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Ontology and the logistic analysis of reality

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 (1993)

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  1. Whitehead's Principle.Ben Blumson & Manikaran Singh - 2020 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 9 (2):115-27.
    According to Whitehead’s rectified principle, two individuals are connected just in case there is something self-connected which overlaps both of them, and every part of which overlaps one of them. Roberto Casati and Achille Varzi have offered a counterexample to the principle, consisting of an individual which has no self-connected parts. But since atoms are self-connected, Casati and Varzi’s counterexample presupposes the possibility of gunk or, in other words, things which have no atoms as parts. So one may still wonder (...)
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  • More Things in Heaven and Earth.Barry Smith - 1995 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 50 (1):187-201.
    Philosophers in the field of analytic metaphysics have begun gradually to come to terms with the fact that there are entities in a range of categories not dreamt of in the set-theory and predicate-logic-based ontologies of their forefathers. Examples of such “entia minora” would include: boundaries, places, events, states holes, shadows, individual colour- and tone-instances (tropes), together with combinations of these and associated simple and complex universal species or essences, states of affairs, judgment-contents, and myriad abstract structures of the sorts (...)
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  • 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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  • Zur Kognition räumlicher Grenzen: Eine mereotopologische Untersuchung.Barry Smith - 1995 - Kognitionswissenschaft 4:177-184.
    The perception of spatial bodies is at least in part a perception of bodily boundaries or surfaces. The usual mathematical conception of boundaries as abstract constructions is, however, of little use for cognitive science purposes. The essay therefore seeks a more adequate conception of the ontology of boundaries building on ideas in Aristotle and Brentano on what we may call the coincidence of boundaries. It presents a formal theory of boundaries and of the continua to which they belong, of a (...)
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  • The Structure of Spatial Localization.Roberto Casati & Achille C. Varzi - 1996 - Philosophical Studies 82 (2):205 - 239.
    What are the relationships between an entity and the space at which it is located? And between a region of space and the events that take place there? What is the metaphysical structure of localization? What its modal status? This paper addresses some of these questions in an attempt to work out at least the main coordinates of the logical structure of localization. Our task is mostly taxonomic. But we also highlight some of the underlying structural features and we single (...)
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  • Spatial Entities.Roberto Casati & Achille C. Varzi - 1997 - In Oliviero Stock (ed.), Spatial and Temporal Reasoning. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 73–96.
    Ordinary reasoning about space—we argue—is first and foremost reasoning about things or events located in space. Accordingly, any theory concerned with the construction of a general model of our spatial competence must be grounded on a general account of the sort of entities that may enter into the scope of the theory. Moreover, on the methodological side the emphasis on spatial entities (as opposed to purely geometrical items such as points or regions) calls for a reexamination of the conceptual categories (...)
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  • Fiat and Bona Fide Boundaries.Barry Smith & Achille C. Varzi - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (2):401-420.
    There is a basic distinction, in the realm of spatial boundaries, between bona fide boundaries on the one hand, and fiat boundaries on the other. The former are just the physical boundaries of old. The latter are exemplified especially by boundaries induced through human demarcation, for example in the geographic domain. The classical problems connected with the notions of adjacency, contact, separation and division can be resolved in an intuitive way by recognizing this two-sorted ontology of boundaries. Bona fide boundaries (...)
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  • Philosophy and Cognitive Sciences: Proceedings of the 16th International Wittgenstein Symposium (Kirchberg Am Wechsel, Austria 1993).Roberto Casati & Barry Smith (eds.) - 1994 - Vienna: Wien: Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky.
    Online collection of papers by Devitt, Dretske, Guarino, Hochberg, Jackson, Petitot, Searle, Tye, Varzi and other leading thinkers on philosophy and the foundations of cognitive Science. Topics dealt with include: Wittgenstein and Cognitive Science, Content and Object, Logic and Foundations, Language and Linguistics, and Ontology and Mereology.
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  • 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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  • 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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  • Refining Temporal Reference in Event Structures.Fabio Pianesi & Achille C. Varzi - 1996 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 37 (1):71-83.
    This paper expands on the theory of event structures put forward in previous work by further investigating the subtle connections between time and events. Specifically, in the first part we generalize the notion of an event structure to that of a refinement structure, where various degrees of temporal granularity are accommodated. In the second part we investigate how these structures can account for the context-dependence of temporal structures in natural language semantics.
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  • 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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  • The Structures of the Common-Sense World.Barry Smith - 1995 - Acta Philosophica Fennica 58:290–317.
    While contemporary philosophers have devoted vast amounts of attention to the language we use in describing and finding our way about the world of everyday experience, they have, with few exceptions, refused to see this world itself as a fitting object of theoretical concern. In what follows I shall seek to show how the commonsensical world might be treated ontologically as an object of investigation in its own right. At the same time I shall seek to establish how such a (...)
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  • 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:. 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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  • Events, Topology and Temporal Relations.Fabio Pianesi & Achille C. Varzi - 1996 - The Monist 79 (1):89--116.
    We are used to regarding actions and other events, such as Brutus’ stabbing of Caesar or the sinking of the Titanic, as occupying intervals of some underlying linearly ordered temporal dimension. This attitude is so natural and compelling that one is tempted to disregard the obvious difference between time periods and actual happenings in favor of the former: events become mere “intervals cum description”.1 On the other hand, in ordinary circumstances the point of talking about time is to talk about (...)
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  • Barry Smith an Sich.Gerald J. Erion & Gloria Zúñiga Y. Postigo (eds.) - 2017 - Cosmos + Taxis.
    Festschrift in Honor of Barry Smith on the occasion of his 65th Birthday. Published as issue 4:4 of the journal Cosmos + Taxis: Studies in Emergent Order and Organization. Includes contributions by Wolfgang Grassl, Nicola Guarino, John T. Kearns, Rudolf Lüthe, Luc Schneider, Peter Simons, Wojciech Żełaniec, and Jan Woleński.
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  • Die Struktur der Common-Sense Welt.Barry Smith - 1994 - Logos. Anales Del Seminario de Metafísica [Universidad Complutense de Madrid, España] 1:422-449.
    Die zeitgenössischen Philosophen haben zwar der Sprache, die wir verwenden, um die Welt der alltäglichen Erfahrung zu beschreiben oder um uns in dieser Welt zurechtzufinden, große Aufmerksamkeit geschenkt, sie haben sich jedoch – von einigen Ausnahmen abgesehen – geweigert, diese Welt selbst als passendes Objekt theoretischer Betrachtungen anzusehen. Im folgenden werde ich versuchen zu zeigen, wie es möglich ist, die Common-Sense-Welt als ontologisch eigenständiges Untersuchungsobjekt zu verstehen. Gleichzeitig werde ich mich bemühen, deutlich zu zeigen, wie eine solch eigenständige Behandlung uns (...)
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  • Boundaries: An Essay in Mereotopology.Barry Smith - 1997 - In Lewis H. Hahn (ed.), Philosophy of Roderick Chisholm (Library of Living Philosophers). Open Court. pp. 534--561.
    Of Chisholm’s many signal contributions to analytic metaphysics, perhaps the most important is his treatment of boundaries, a category of entity that has been neglected, to say the least, in the history of ontology. We can gain some preliminary idea of the sorts of problems which the Chisholmian ontology of boundaries is designed to solve, if we consider the following Zeno-inspired thought-experiment.
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  • Applications and Limits of Mereology. From the Theory of Parts to the Theory of Wholes.Massimo Libardi - 1994 - Axiomathes 5 (1):13-54.
    The discovery of the importance of mereology follows and does not precede the formalisation of the theory. In particular, it was only after the construction of an axiomatic theory of the part-whole relation by the Polish logician Stanisław Leśniewski that any attempt was made to reinterpret some periods in the history of philosophy in the light of the theory of parts and wholes. Secondly, the push for formalisation - and the individuation of mereology as a specific theoretical field - arise (...)
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  • Husserl’s Relevance for the Philosophy and Foundations of Mathematics.Guillermo E. Rosado Haddock - 1997 - Axiomathes 8 (1):125-142.
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  • 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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  • On Drawing Lines on a Map.Barry Smith - 1995 - In A. U. Frank, W. Kuhn & D. M. Mark (eds.), Spatial Information Theory: Proceedings of COSIT '95. New York: Springer. pp. 475-484.
    The paper is an exercise in descriptive ontology, with specific applications to problems in the geographical sphere. It presents a general typology of spatial boundaries, based in particular on an opposition between bona fide or physical boundaries on the one hand, and fiat or human-demarcation-induced boundaries on the other. Cross-cutting this opposition are further oppositions in the realm of boundaries, for example between: crisp and indeterminate, complete and incomplete, enduring and transient, symmetrical and asymmetrical. The resulting typology generates a corresponding (...)
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  • Nisza.Achille C. Varzi & Barry Smith - 2000 - Filozofia Nauki 3:5–30.
    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 is illustrated above all by means of simple biological examples, (...)
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  • From Neural Synapses to Culture-Historical Boundaries: An Archaeological Comment on the Plastic Mind.Mette Løvschal - 2014 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 14 (5):415-434.
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