David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Studies 38 (3):261 - 285 (1980)
Most relational theories assert both that spatial discourse is reducible to talk about physical objects and their spatial relations, and that the relation of congruence derives from a non-metrical relation which intervals bear or possibly bear to measuring instruments. We have shown that there are serious logical difficulties involved in maintaining both these positions and the thesis of the continuity of space. We have also shown that Grünbaum's motivating argument for the reduction of congruence is unsound, and, moreover, that the prospects of formulating the kind of definition which this reduction requires seem to rest upon a wholly vague notion of physical possibility. Alternatively, if congruence is taken as primitive, it seems plausible that spatial discourse can be reconstructed so that there is no ontological commitment to spatial objects other than physical objects. Whether or not this relational thesis is ultimately defensible requires more elaboration of the relational theory, and investigation of its role in the formalizations of current physical theories. It is odd, considering the wide currency of relational theories, that this work has never been done
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Aldo Bressan (1972). A General Interpreted Modal Calculus. New Haven,Yale University Press.
Michael Friedman (1972). Grünbaum on the Conventionality of Geometry. Synthese 24 (1-2):219 - 235.
Clark Glymour (1972). Physics by Convention. Philosophy of Science 39 (3):322-340.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Barry Smith, Jose L. V. Mejino Jr, Stefan Schulz, Anand Kumar & Cornelius Rosse (2005). Anatomical Information Science. In Spatial Information Theory. Springer.
Barry Smith (1995). On Drawing Lines on a Map. Spatial Information Theory:475–484.
Kenneth L. Manders (1982). On the Space-Time Ontology of Physical Theories. Philosophy of Science 49 (4):575-590.
Achille C. Varzi (2007). Spatial Reasoning and Ontology: Parts, Wholes, and Locations. In Marco Aiello, Ian E. Pratt-Hartmann & Johan van Benthem (eds.), Handbook of Spatial Logics. Springer-Verlag. 945-1038.
Amy Karofsky (2003). God, Modalities, and Conceptualism. Philosophy and Theology 15 (2):257-271.
John Campbell (1993). The Role of Physical Objects in Spatial Thinking. In Naomi M. Eilan, R. McCarthy & M. W. Brewer (eds.), Problems in the Philosophy and Psychology of Spatial Representation. Blackwell.
Richard Montague (1960). Logical Necessity, Physical Necessity, Ethics, and Quantifiers. Inquiry 3 (1-4):259 – 269.
Ned Markosian (2000). What Are Physical Objects? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (2):375-395.
Pierre Grenon & Barry Smith (2004). SNAP and SPAN: Towards Dynamic Spatial Ontology. Spatial Cognition and Computation 4 (1):69–103.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads8 ( #182,051 of 1,140,037 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #157,514 of 1,140,037 )
How can I increase my downloads?