David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Symbolic Logic 65 (2):822-838 (2000)
In recent years, there has been renewed interest in the development of formal languages for describing mereological (part-whole) and topological relationships between objects in space. Typically, the non-logical primitives of these languages are properties and relations such as `x is connected' or `x is a part of y', and the entities over which their variables range are, accordingly, not points, but regions: spatial entities other than regions are admitted, if at all, only as logical constructs of regions. This paper considers two first-order mereotopological languages, and investigates their expressive power. It turns out that these languages, notwithstanding the simplicity of their primitives, are surprisingly expressive. In particular, it is shown that infinitary versions of these languages are adequate to express (in a sense made precise below) all topological relations over the domain of polygons in the closed plane
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