Spatial Entities

Common-sense reasoning about space is, first and foremost, reasoning about things located in space. The fly is inside the glass; hence the glass is not inside the fly. The book is on the table; hence the table is under the book. Sometimes we may be talking about things going on in certain places: the concert took place in the garden; then dinner was served in the solarium. Even when we talk about “naked” (empty) regions of space—regions that are not occupied by any macroscopic object and where nothing noticeable seems to be going on—we tipically do so because we are planning to move things around, or because we are thinking that certain actions or events did or should take place in certain sites as opposed to others. The sofa should go right here; the aircraft crashed right there. Spatial reasoning, whether actual or hypothetical, is typically reasoning about spatial entities of some sort. One might—and some people do—take this as a fundamental claim, meaning that spatial entities such as objects or events are fundamentally (cognitively, or perhaps even metaphysically) prior to space: there is no way to identify a region of space except by reference to what is or could be located or take place at that region. (This was, for instance, the gist of Leibniz’ contention against the Newtonian view that space is an individual entity in its own right, independently of whatever entities may inhabit it.) It is, however, even more interesting to see how far we can go in our understand-.
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