Do mountains exist? Towards an ontology of landforms

Environment and Planning B (Planning and Design) 30 (3):411–427 (2003)
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Abstract

Do mountains exist? The answer to this question is surely: yes. In fact, ‘mountain’ is the example of a kind of geographic feature or thing most commonly cited by English speakers (Mark, et al., 1999; Smith and Mark 2001), and this result may hold across many languages and cultures. But whether they are considered as individuals (tokens) or as kinds (types), mountains do not exist in quite the same unequivocal sense as do such prototypical everyday objects as chairs or people.

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Barry Smith
University at Buffalo

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