New foundations for qualitative physics

In J. E. Tiles, G. T. McKee & C. G. Dean (eds.), Evolving Knowledge in Natural Science and Artificial Intelligence. London: Pitman Publishing. pp. 231-49 (1990)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Physical reality is all the reality we have, and so physical theory in the standard sense is all the ontology we need. This, at least, was an assumption taken almost universally for granted by the advocates of exact philosophy for much of the present century. Every event, it was held, is a physical event, and all structure in reality is physical structure. The grip of this assumption has perhaps been gradually weakened in recent years as far as the sciences of mind are concerned. When it comes to the sciences of external reality, however, it continues to hold sway, so that contemporary philosophers B even while devoting vast amounts of attention to the language we use in describing the world of everyday experience B still refuse to see this world as being itself a proper object of theoretical concern. Here, however, we shall argue that the usual conception of physical reality as constituting a unique bedrock of objectivity reflects a rather archaic view as to the nature of physics itself and is in fact incompatible with the development of the discipline since Newton. More specifically, we shall seek to show that the world of qualitative structures, for example of colour and sound, or the commonsense world of coloured and sounding things, can be treated scientifically (ontologically) on its own terms, and that such a treatment can help us better to understand the structures both of physical reality and of cognition.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
PETNFF-3
Revision history
Archival date: 2017-11-08
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Mereotopology: A Theory of Parts and Boundaries.Barry Smith - 1996 - Data and Knowledge Engineering 20 (3):287–303.
Physics and the Phenomenal World.Jean Petitot & Barry Smith - 1996 - In Roberto Poli & Peter Simons (eds.), Formal Ontology. Dordrecht: Kluwer. pp. 233-254.
Naive Physics.Barry Smith & Roberto Casati - 1994 - Philosophical Psychology 7 (2):227 – 247.
Formal Ontology, Common Sense, and Cognitive Science.Barry Smith - 1995 - International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 43 (5-6):641–667.

View all 13 citations / Add more citations

Added to PP index
2013-07-04

Total views
83 ( #35,840 of 49,975 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
14 ( #35,748 of 49,975 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.