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Achille C. Varzi
Columbia University
  1. The Extensionality of Parthood and Composition.Achille C. Varzi - 2008 - Philosophical Quarterly 58 (230):108-133.
    I focus on three mereological principles: the Extensionality of Parthood (EP), the Uniqueness of Composition (UC), and the Extensionality of Composition (EC). These principles are not equivalent. Nonetheless, they are closely related (and often equated) as they all reflect the basic nominalistic dictum, No difference without a difference maker. And each one of them—individually or collectively—has been challenged on philosophical grounds. In the first part I argue that such challenges do not quite threaten EP insofar as they are either self-defeating (...)
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  2. Supervaluationism and Its Logics.Achille C. Varzi - 2007 - Mind 116 (463):633-676.
    What sort of logic do we get if we adopt a supervaluational semantics for vagueness? As it turns out, the answer depends crucially on how the standard notion of validity as truth preservation is recasted. There are several ways of doing that within a supervaluational framework, the main alternative being between “global” construals (e.g., an argument is valid iff it preserves truth-under-all-precisifications) and “local” construals (an argument is valid iff, under all precisifications, it preserves truth). The former alternative is by (...)
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  3. 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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  4. Universalism entails Extensionalism.Achille C. Varzi - 2009 - Analysis 69 (4):599-604.
    I argue that Universalism (the thesis that mereological composition is unrestricted) entails Extensionalism (the thesis that sameness of composition is sufficient for identity) as long as the parthood relation is transitive and satisfies the Weak Supplementation principle (to the effect that whenever a thing has a proper part, it has another part disjoint from the first).
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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. A Note on the Transitivity of Parthood.Achille C. Varzi - 2006 - Applied Ontology 1 (2):141-146.
    That parthood is a transitive relation is among the most basic principles of classical mereology. Alas, it is also very controversial. In a recent paper, Ingvar Johansson has put forward a novel diagnosis of the problem, along with a corresponding solution. The diagnosis is on the right track, I argue, but the solution is misleading. And once the pieces are properly put together, we end up with a reinforcement of the standard defense of transitivity on behalf of classical mereology.
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  9. Perdurantism, Universalism and Quantifiers.Achille C. Varzi - 2003 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (2):208-215.
    I argue that the conjunction of perdurantism (the view that objects are temporally extended) and universalism (the thesis that any old class of things has a mereological fusion) gives rise to undesired complications when combined with certain plausible assumptions concerning the semantics of tensed statements.
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  10. Boundaries, Conventions, and Realism.Achille C. Varzi - 2011 - In Michael O'Rourke, Joseph K. Campbell & Matthew H. Slater (eds.), Carving Nature at its Joints: Natural Kinds in Metaphysics and Science. MIT Press. pp. 129–153.
    Are there any bona fide boundaries, i.e., boundaries that carve at the joints? Or is any boundary —hence any object—the result of a fiat articulation reflecting our cognitive biases and our so-cial practices and conventions? Does the choice between these two options amount to a choice between realism and wholesome relativism?
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  11. Vagueness in Geography.Achille C. Varzi - 2001 - Philosophy and Geography 4 (1):49–65.
    Some have argued that the vagueness exhibited by geographic names and descriptions such as ‘Albuquerque’, ‘the Outback’, or ‘Mount Everest’ is ultimately ontological: these terms are vague because they refer to vague objects, objects with fuzzy boundaries. I take the opposite stand and hold the view that geographic vagueness is exclusively semantic, or conceptual at large. There is no such thing as a vague mountain. Rather, there are many things where we conceive a mountain to be, each with its precise (...)
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  12. On Logical Relativity.Achille C. Varzi - 2002 - Philosophical Issues 12 (1):197-219.
    One logic or many? I say—many. Or rather, I say there is one logic for each way of specifying the class of all possible circumstances, or models, i.e., all ways of interpreting a given language. But because there is no unique way of doing this, I say there is no unique logic except in a relative sense. Indeed, given any two competing logical theories T1 and T2 (in the same language) one could always consider their common core, T, and settle (...)
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  13. Omissions and Causal Explanations.Achille C. Varzi - 2007 - In Francesca Castellani & Josef Quitterer (eds.), Agency and Causation in the Human Sciences. Mentis Verlag. pp. 155–167.
    In previous work I have argued that talk about negative events should not be taken at face value: typically, what we are inclined to think of as a negative event (John’s failure to go jogging) is just an ordinary, positive event (his going to the movie instead); it is a positive event under a negative description. Here I consider more closely the difficulties that arise in those cases where no positive event seems available to do the job, as with putative (...)
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  14. The Universe Among Other Things.Achille C. Varzi - 2006 - Ratio 19 (1):107–120.
    Peter Simons has argued that the expression ‘the universe’ is not a genuine singular term: it can name neither a single, completely encompassing individual, nor a collection of individuals. (It is, rather, a semantically plural term standing equally for every existing object.) I offer reasons for resisting Simons’s arguments on both scores.
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  15. 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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  16. Deviant Logic, Fuzzy Logic: Beyond the Formalism.Achille C. Varzi & Susan Haack - 1998 - Philosophical Review 107 (3):468.
    This book has three main parts. The first, longer, part is a reprint of the author's Deviant Logic, which initially appeared as a book by itself in 1974. The second and third parts include reprints of five papers originally published between 1973 and 1980. Three of them focus on the nature and justification of deductive reasoning, which are also a major concern of Deviant Logic. The other two are on fuzzy logic, and make up for a major omission of Deviant (...)
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  17. The Talk I Was Supposed to Give….Achille C. Varzi - 2006 - In Andrea Bottani & Richard Davies (eds.), Modes of Existence: Papers in Ontology and Philosophical Logic. Ontos Verlag. pp. 131–152.
    Assuming that events form a genuine ontological category, shall we say that a good inventory of the world ought to include “negative” events—failures, omissions, things that didn’t happen—along with positive ones? I argue that we shouldn’t. Talk of non-occurring events is like talk of non-existing objects and should not be taken at face value. We often speak as though there were such things, but deep down we want our words to be interpreted in such a way as to avoid serious (...)
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  18. Words and Objects.Achille C. Varzi - 2002 - In Andrea Bottani, Massimiliano Carrara & Daniele Giaretta (eds.), Individuals, Essence, and Identity. Themes of Analytic Metaphysics. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 49–75.
    A lot of work in metaphysics relies on linguistic analysis and intuitions. Do we want to know what sort of things there are or could be? Then let’s see what sort of things there must be in order for what we truthfully say to be true. Do we want to see whether x is distinct from y? Then let’s see whether there is any statement that is true of x but not of y. And so on. In this paper I (...)
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  19. Event Concepts.Roberto Casati & Achille C. Varzi - 2008 - In Thomas F. Shipley & Jeffrey M. Zacks (eds.), Understanding Events: From Perception to Action. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 31–54.
    This chapter analyzes the concept of an event and of event representation as an umbrella notion. It provides an overview of different ways events have been dealt with in philosophy, linguistics, and cognitive science. This variety of positions has been construed in part as the result of different descriptive and explanatory projects. It is argued that various types of notions — common-sense, theoretically revised, scientific, and internalist psychological — be kept apart.
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  20. Events and Event Talk: An Introduction.Fabio Pianesi & Achille C. Varzi - 2000 - In James Higginbotham, Fabio Pianesi & Achille C. Varzi (eds.), Speaking of Events. Oxford University Press. pp. 3–47.
    A critical review of the main themes arising out of recent literature on the semantics of ordinary event talk. The material is organized in four sections: (i) the nature of events, with emphasis on the opposition between events as particulars and events as universals; (ii) identity and indeterminacy, with emphasis on the unifier/multiplier controversy; (iii) events and logical form, with emphasis on Davidson’s treatment of the form of action sentences; (iv) linguistic applications, with emphasis on issues concerning aspectual phenomena, the (...)
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  21. Promiscuous Endurantism and Diachronic Vagueness.Achille C. Varzi - 2007 - American Philosophical Quarterly 44 (2):181-189.
    According to a popular line of reasoning, diachronic vagueness creates a problem for the endurantist conception of persistence. Some authors have replied that this line of reasoning is inconclusive, since the endurantist can subscribe to a principle of Diachronic Unrestricted Composition (DUC) that is perfectly parallel to the principle required by the perdurantist’s semantic account. I object that the endurantist should better avoid DUC. And I argue that even DUC, if accepted, would fail to provide the endurantist with the necessary (...)
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  22. 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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  23. Fiat and Bona Fide Boundaries: Towards an Ontology of Spatially Extended Objects.Barry Smith & Achille C. Varzi - 1997 - In Stephen Hirtle & Andrew U. Frank (eds.), Spatial Information Theory: International Conference COSIT ‘97. Springer. pp. 103–119.
    Human cognitive acts are directed towards objects extended in space of a wide range of different types. What follows is a new proposal for bringing order into this typological clutter. The theory of spatially extended objects should make room not only for the objects of physics but also for objects at higher levels, including the objects of geography and of related disciplines. It should leave room for different types of boundaries, including both the bona fide boundaries which we find in (...)
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  24. Ontological Tools for Geographic Representation.Roberto Casati, Barry Smith & Achille C. Varzi - 1998 - In Nicola Guarino (ed.), Formal Ontology in Information Systems (FOIS). Ios Press. pp. 77--85.
    This paper is concerned with certain ontological issues in the foundations of geographic representation. It sets out what these basic issues are, describes the tools needed to deal with them, and draws some implications for a general theory of spatial representation. Our approach has ramifications in the domains of mereology, topology, and the theory of location, and the question of the interaction of these three domains within a unified spatial representation theory is addressed. In the final part we also consider (...)
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  25. 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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  26. Parts, Counterparts and Modal Occurrents.Achille C. Varzi - 2001 - Travaux de Logique 14 (1):151-171.
    The paper investigates the link between the theory of modal occurrents (where individuals are allowed to stretch across possible worlds) and Lewis’s counterpart theory (where all individuals are world-bound but have counterparts in other worlds). First I show how to interpret modal talk extensionally within the theory of modal occurrents. Then I show that the assumption that worlds be pairwise discrete is all that is needed to reconstruct the bulk of counterpart theory (i.e., to define the concept of a counterpart (...)
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  27. 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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  28. Unsharpenable Vagueness.John Collins & Achille C. Varzi - 2000 - Philosophical Topics 28 (1):1-10.
    A plausible thought about vagueness is that it involves semantic incompleteness. To say that a predicate is vague is to say (at the very least) that its extension is incompletely specified. Where there is incomplete specification of extension there is indeterminacy, an indeterminacy between various ways in which the specification of the predicate might be completed or sharpened. In this paper we show that this idea is bound to founder by presenting an argument to the effect that there are vague (...)
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  29. Events, Truth, and Indeterminacy.Achille C. Varzi - 2002 - The Dialogue 2:241-264.
    The semantics of our event talk is a complex affair. What is it that we are talking about when we speak of Brutus’s stabbing of Caesar? Exactly where and when did it take place? Was it the same event as the killing of Caesar? Some take questions such as these to be metaphysical questions. I think they are questions of semantics—questions about the way we talk and about what we mean. And I think that this conflict between metaphysic and semantic (...)
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  30. Fictionalism in Ontology.Achille C. Varzi - 2013 - In Carola Barbero, Maurizio Ferraris & Alberto Voltolini (eds.), From Fictionalism to Realism. Cambridge Scholars Press. pp. 133–151.
    Fictionalism in ontology is a mixed bag. Here I focus on three main variants—which I label after the names of Pascal, Berkeley, and Hume—and consider their relative strengths and weaknesses. The first variant is just a version of the epistemic Wager, applied across the board. The second variant builds instead on the fact that ordinary language is not ontologically transparent; we speak with the vulgar, but deep down we think with the learned. Finally, on the Humean variant it’s the structure (...)
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  31. Conjunction and Contradiction.Achille C. Varzi - 2004 - In Graham Priest, J. C. Beall & Bradley Armour-Garb (eds.), The Law of Non-Contradiction: New Philosophical Essays. Clarendon Press. pp. 93–110.
    There are two ways of understanding the notion of a contradiction: as a conjunction of a statement and its negation, or as a pair of statements one of which is the negation of the other. Correspondingly, there are two ways of understanding the Law of Non-Contradiction (LNC), i.e., the law that says that no contradictions can be true. In this paper I offer some arguments to the effect that on the first (collective) reading LNC is non-negotiable, but on the second (...)
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  32. Supervaluationism and Paraconsistency.Achille C. Varzi - 2000 - In Diderik Batens, Chris Mortensen, Graham Priest & Jean Paul Van Bendegem (eds.), Frontiers in Paraconsistent Logic. Research Studies Press. pp. 279–297.
    Since its first appearance in 1966, the notion of a supervaluation has been regarded by many as a powerful tool for dealing with semantic gaps. Only recently, however, applications to semantic gluts have also been considered. In previous work I proposed a general framework exploiting the intrinsic gap/glut duality. Here I also examine an alternative account where gaps and gluts are treated on a par: although they reflect opposite situations, the semantic upshot is the same in both cases--the value of (...)
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  33. Realism in the Desert.Achille C. Varzi - 2014 - In Massimo Dell’Utri, Fabio Bacchini & Stefano Caputo (eds.), Realism and Ontology without Myths. Cambridge Scholars Press. pp. 16–31.
    Quine’s desert is generally contrasted with Meinong’s jungle, as a sober ontological alternative to the exuberant luxuriance that comes with the latter. Here I focus instead on the desert as a sober metaphysical alternative to the Aristotelian garden, with its tidily organized varieties of flora and fauna neatly governed by fundamental laws that reflect the essence of things and the way they can be, or the way they must be. In the desert there are no “natural joints”; all the boundaries (...)
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  34. Basic Problems of Mereotopology.Achille C. Varzi - 1998 - In Nicola Guarino (ed.), Formal Ontology in Information Systems. Ios Press. pp. 29–38.
    Mereotopology is today regarded as a major tool for ontological analysis, and for many good reasons. There are, however, a number of open questions that call for an answer. Some are philosophical, others have direct applicative import, but all are crucial for a proper assessment of the strengths and limits of mereotopology. This paper is an attempt to put sum order in this area.
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  35. Some Pictures Are Worth 2Aleph0 Sentences.Philip Kitcher & Achille C. Varzi - 2000 - Philosophy 75 (3):377-381.
    According to the cliché a picture is worth a thousand words. But this is a canard, for it vastly underestimates the expressive power of many pictures and diagrams. In this note we show that even a simple map such as the outline of Manhattan Island, accompanied by a pointer marking North, implies a vast infinity of statements—including a vast infinity of true statements.
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  36. Riferimento, predicazione, e cambiamento.Achille C. Varzi - 2003 - In Claudia Bianchi & Andrea Bottani (eds.), Significato e ontologia. Franco Angeli. pp. 221–249.
    This paper focuses on the semantics of statements of the form ‘x is P at t’ vis-à-vis its metaphysical underpinnings. I begin by considering four main readings, corresponding to the four basic parsings of the temporal modifier ‘at t’: (1) at-t x is P, (2) x-at-t is P, (3) x is-at-t P, and (4) x is P-at-t. Each of these readings—which correspond to different metaphysical conceptions of the nature of temporal change—is found inadequate or otherwise problematic. In the second part (...)
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  37. Environmental Metaphysics.Barry Smith & Achille C. Varzi - 2001 - In Uwe A. Meixner Meixner (ed.), Metaphysics in the Post-Metaphysical Age. Proceedings of the 22nd International Wittgenstein-Symposium. Vienna: Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky. pp. 231-242.
    We propose the beginnings of a general theory of environments, of the parts or regions of space in which organisms live and move. We draw on two sources: on the one hand on recent work on the ontology of space; and on the other hand on work by ecological scientists on concepts such as territory, habitat, and niche. An environment is in first approximation a volume of space; it is a specific habitat, location, or site that is suitable or adequate (...)
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  38. Strict Identity with No Overlap.Achille C. Varzi - 2006 - Studia Logica 82 (3):371-378.
    It is common lore that standard, Kripke-style semantics for quantified modal logic is incompatible with the view that no individual may belong to more than one possible world, a view that seems to require a counterpart-theoretic semantics instead. Strictly speaking, however, this thought is wrong-headed. This note explains why.
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  39. Complementary Sentential Logics.Achille C. Varzi - 1990 - Bulletin of the Section of Logic 19 (4):112-116.
    It is shown that a complete axiomatization of classical non-tautologies can be obtained by taking F (falsehood) as the sole axiom along with the two inference rules: (i) if A is a substitution instance of B, then A |– B; and (ii) if A is obtained from B by replacement of equivalent sentences, then A |– B (counting as equivalent the pairs {T, ~F}, {F, F&F}, {F, F&T}, {F, T&F}, {T, T&T}). Since the set of tautologies is also specifiable by (...)
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  40. Formal Theories of Parthood.Achille C. Varzi - 2014 - In Claudio Calosi & Pierluigi Graziani (eds.), Mereology and the Sciences: Parts and Wholes in the Contemporary Scientific Context. Springer Verlag. pp. 359–370.
    A compact overview of the main formal theories of parthood and of their mutual relationships, up to Classical Extensional Mereology. Written as an Appendix to the other essays included in the volume.
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  41. Del fuoco che non brucia: risposte, riflessioni, ringraziamenti.Achille C. Varzi - 2014 - In Elena Casetta & Valeria Giardino (eds.), Mettere a Fuoco Il Mondo. Conversazioni sulla Filosofia di Achille Varzi (Special Issue of Isonomia – Epistemologica). University of Urbino. pp. 111–153.
    An overview of the way I picture the amorphous world we live in, built around my comments and responses to nine festschrift essays by A. Borghini (on the Fedro metaphor and the art of butchery), F. Calemi (on the predication principle and metalinguistic nominalism), C. Calosi (on the argument from mereological universalism to extensonality), E. Casetta (on the role of “monsters” in the realism/antirealism debate), V. Giardino (on inductive reasoning, spatial representation, and problem solving), P. Graziani (on mereological notation), P. (...)
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  42. Review of André Gallois, Occasions of Identity: The Metaphysics of Persistence, Change, and Sameness. [REVIEW]Achille C. Varzi - 2001 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 79 (2):291–295.
    Book Information: Occasions of Identity: The Metaphysics of Persistence, Change, and Sameness. By André Gallois. Clarendon Press. Oxford. 1998. Pp. xiii + 296. Hardback, £35.00.
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  43. Undetached Parts and Disconnected Wholes.Achille C. Varzi - 2013 - In Christer Svennerlind, Jan Almäng & Rögnvaldur Ingthorsson (eds.), Johanssonian Investigations. Essays in Honour of Ingvar Johansson on His Seventieth Birthday. Ontos Verlag. pp. 696–708.
    I offer a diagnosis of the parallelism between the Doctrine of Potential Parts and the Doctrine of Potential Wholes and briefly examine its bearing on Johansson’s account of the Tibbles-Tib Problem.
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  44. Complementary Logics for Classical Propositional Languages.Achille C. Varzi - 1992 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 4 (1):20-24.
    In previous work, I introduced a complete axiomatization of classical non-tautologies based essentially on Łukasiewicz’s rejection method. The present paper provides a new, Hilbert-type axiomatization (along with related systems to axiomatize classical contradictions, non-contradictions, contingencies and non-contingencies respectively). This new system is mathematically less elegant, but the format of the inferential rules and the structure of the completeness proof possess some intrinsic interest and suggests instructive comparisons with the logic of tautologies.
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  45. Critical Notice of John Heil, From an Ontological Point of View[REVIEW]Achille C. Varzi - 2006 - Philosophical Books 47 (2):148-154.
    Book information: John Heil, From an Ontological Point of View, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2003, xv + 267 pp, $45.00 cloth, ISBN 0-19-925974-7.
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  46. Event Location and Vagueness.Andrea Borghini & Achille C. Varzi - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 128 (2):313-336.
    Most event-referring expressions are vague; it is utterly difficult, if not impossible, to specify the exact spatiotemporal location of an event from the words that we use to refer to it. We argue that in spite of certain prima facie obstacles, such vagueness can be given a purely semantic (broadly supervaluational) account.
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  47. Cut-Offs and Their Neighbors.Achille C. Varzi - 2003 - In Jc Beall (ed.), Liars and Heaps: New Essays on Paradox. Clarendon Press. pp. 24–38.
    In ‘Towards a Solution to the Sorites Paradox’, Graham Priest gives us a new account of the sorites based on fuzzy logic. The novelty lies in the suggestion that truth-value assignments should themselves be treated as fuzzy objects, i.e., objects about which we can make fuzzy identity statements. I argue that Priest’s solution does not have the explanatory force that Priest advocates. That is, it does not explain why we find the existence of a cut-off point counter-intuitive. I also argue (...)
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  48. Teoria e pratica dei confini.Achille C. Varzi - 2005 - Sistemi Intelligenti 17 (3):399–418.
    Are there any bona fide boundaries, i.e., boundaries that carve at the joints? Or is any boundary—hence any object—the result of a fiat articulation reflecting our cognitive biases and our social practices and conventions? Does the choice between these two options amount to a choice between realism and wholesome relativism?
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  49.  88
    The Formal Structure of Ecological Contexts.Barry Smith & Achille C. Varzi - 1999 - In Paolo Bouquet, Patrick Brezillon, Francesca Castellani & Luciano Serafini (eds.), Modeling and Using Context. Proceedings of the Second International and Interdisciplinary Conference. Springer. pp. 339–350.
    This is an informal presentation of the theory of niches understood as ecological contexts. The first part sets out the basic conceptual background. The second part outlines the main principles of the theory and addresses the question of how the theory can be extended to aid our thinking in relation to the special types of causal integrity that characterize niches and niched entities.
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  50. Che cosa c’è e che cos’è.Maurizio Ferraris & Achille C. Varzi - 2003 - Nous. Postille Su Pensieri 1:81–101.
    A philosophical exchange broadly inspired by the characters of Berkeley’s Three Dialogues. Hylas is the realist philosopher: the view he stands up for reflects a robust metaphysic that is reassuringly close to common sense, grounded on the twofold persuasion that the world comes structured into entities of various kinds and at various levels and that it is the task of philosophy, if not of science generally, to “bring to light” that structure. Philonous, by contrast, is the anti-realist philosopher (though not (...)
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