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  1. Boundaries as Dependent Particulars.Roderick M. Chisholm - 1983 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 20 (1):87-95.
    Körner has made an important distinction between dependent and independent particulars, noting that any adequate theory of categories will divide particulars into those that are independent and those that are not. In the present paper, the concept of a spatial boundary is used to illustrate the concept of a dependent particular. It is suggested that, if we follow Brentano and think of such boundaries as ontologically dependent upon the things of which they may be said to be boundaries, then we (...)
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Fiat Objects.Barry Smith - 2001 - Topoi 20 (2):131-148.
    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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  • The Child's Conception of Space.Jean Piaget, Baerbel Inhelder, F. J. Langdon & J. L. Lunzer - 1957 - British Journal of Educational Studies 5 (2):187-189.
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  • Formal Ontology, Common Sense, and Cognitive Science.Barry Smith - 1995 - International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 43 (5-6):641–667.
    Common sense is on the one hand a certain set of processes of natural cognition - of speaking, reasoning, seeing, and so on. On the other hand common sense is a system of beliefs (of folk physics, folk psychology and so on). Over against both of these is the world of common sense, the world of objects to which the processes of natural cognition and the corresponding belief-contents standardly relate. What are the structures of this world? How does the scientific (...)
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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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  • Characteristica Universalis.Barry Smith - 1992 - In Kevin Mulligan (ed.), Language, Truth and Ontology. London: Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 48--77.
    Recent work in formal philosophy has concentrated over-whelmingly on the logical problems pertaining to epistemic shortfall - which is to say on the various ways in which partial and sometimes incorrect information may be stored and processed. A directly depicting language, in contrast, would reflect a condition of epistemic perfection. It would enable us to construct representations not of our knowledge but of the structures of reality itself, in much the way that chemical diagrams allow the representation (at a certain (...)
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  • Philosophische Untersuchungen zu Raum, Zeit und Kontinuum.Franz Brentano - 1976 - Felix Meiner.
    Die in diesem Band vereinten Aufsätze spiegeln Brentanos späte Ansichten wieder; die Einleitung wurde für den allgemein philosophisch interessierten Leser konzipiert und behandelt Brentanos Theorie des Kontinuums, des Ursprungs des ...
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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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  • Parts and Places: The Structures of Spatial Representation.Roberto Casati & Achille C. Varzi - 1999 - MIT Press.
    Thinking about space is thinking about spatial things. The table is on the carpet; hence the carpet is under the table. The vase is in the box; hence the box is not in the vase. But what does it mean for an object to be somewhere? How are objects tied to the space they occupy? This book is concerned with these and other fundamental issues in the philosophy of spatial representation. Our starting point is an analysis of the interplay between (...)
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  • Holes and Other Superficialities.Roberto Casati & Achille C. Varzi - 1994 - MIT Press.
    Holes are a good example of the sort of entity that down-to-earth philosophers would be inclined to expel from their ontological inventory. In this work we argue instead in favor of their existence and explore the consequences of this liberality—odd as they might appear. We examine the ontology of holes, their geometry, their part-whole relations, their identity and their causal role, the ways we perceive them. We distinguish three basic kinds of holes: blind hollows, perforating tunnels, and internal cavities, treating (...)
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  • Parts: A Study in Ontology.Peter Simons - 1987 - Oxford University Press.
    Although the relationship of part to whole is one of the most fundamental there is, this is the first full-length study of this key concept. Showing that mereology, or the formal theory of part and whole, is essential to ontology, Simons surveys and critiques previous theories--especially the standard extensional view--and proposes a new account that encompasses both temporal and modal considerations. Simons's revised theory not only allows him to offer fresh solutions to long-standing problems, but also has far-reaching consequences for (...)
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  • Parts : a Study in Ontology.Peter Simons - 1987 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 2:277-279.
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  • Holes and Other Superficialities.Brian Rotman - 1995 - Substance 24 (1/2):184.
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  • Boundaries as Dependent Particulars.Roderick M. Chisholm - 1983 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 20 (1):87-95.
    Körner has made an important distinction between dependent and independent particulars, noting that any adequate theory of categories will divide particulars into those that are independent and those that are not. In the present paper, the concept of a spatial boundary is used to illustrate the concept of a dependent particular. It is suggested that, if we follow Brentano and think of such boundaries as ontologically dependent upon the things of which they may be said to be boundaries, then we (...)
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  • Faces, Boundaries, and Thin Layers.Peter Simons - unknown
    We only need to think for a moment about surfaces and other interfaces to realise their enormous importance in everydaylife. There are numerous branches of physics, chemistry, biology, and materials science concerned wholly or largely with surfaces, and one sometimes comes across the expression ‘surface science’ Among the natural phenomena connected with surfaces which have aroused scientific interest are surface tension, surface waves, photoelectric emission, reflection, refraction, evaporation, adsorption, adhesion, thin films, detergents, catalysts, cell membranes, skin. All of these phenomena (...)
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • A Connection Based Approach to Common-Sense Topological Description and Reasoning.A. G. Cohn - 1996 - The Monist 79 (1):51-75.
    This paper describes the topological aspect of a logic-based, artificial intelligence approach to formalising the qualitative description of spatial properties and relations, and reasoning about those properties and relations. This approach, known as RCC theory, has been under development for several years at the University of Leeds. The main rationale for this project is that qualitative descriptions of spatial properties and relationships, and qualitative spatial reasoning, are of fundamental importance in human thinking about the world: even where quantitative spatial data (...)
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  • A Calculus of Individuals Based on ``Connection''.Bowman L. Clarke - 1981 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 22 (3):204-218.
    Although Aristotle (Metaphysics, Book IV, Chapter 2) was perhaps the first person to consider the part-whole relationship to be a proper subject matter for philosophic inquiry, the Polish logician Stanislow Lesniewski [15] is generally given credit for the first formal treatment of the subject matter in his Mereology.1 Woodger [30] and Tarski [24] made use of a specific adaptation of Lesniewski's work as a basis for a formal theory of physical things and their parts. The term 'calculus of individuals' was (...)
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  • Vague Objects.Michael Tye - 1990 - Mind 99:535.
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  • Process and Reality. By A. E. Murphy. [REVIEW]A. N. Whitehead - 1929 - Ethics 40:433.
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  • Parts and Boundaries.Ray Jackendoff - 1992 - In Beth Levin & Steven Pinker (eds.), Lexical & Conceptual Semantics. Blackwell. pp. 9-45.
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  • Events and Reification.Willard V. Quine - 1985 - In E. Lepore & B. McLaughlin (eds.), Actions and Events: Perspectives on the Philosophy of Davidson. Blackwell. pp. 162-71.
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  • Über Gegenstände Höherer Ordnung Und Deren Verhältnisse Zur Inneren Wahrnehmung.Alexius Meinong - 1899 - Zeitschrift für Psychologie Und Physiologie Der Sinnesorgane 21:182--272.
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  • Spatial Continuity and the Theory of Part and Whole: A Brentano Study.Roderick M. Chisholm - 1993 - Brentano Studien 4:11-24.
    The concepts of a spatially continuous substance, of spatial dimension and of spatial boundary are here "analyzed out" of the concepts of individual thing, of constituent and of coincidence. The analysis is based upon the theory of spatial coincidence that was developed by Brentano. Its presuppositions are essentially these: (1) if there are spatial objects of any kind, then there are continuous spatial substances. (2) such substances are possibly such that they are not constituents of any individual thing; and (3) (...)
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