David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Dean Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press (2008)
Here are two ways space might be (not the only two): (1) Space is “pointy”. Every finite region has infinitely many infinitesimal, indivisible parts, called points. Points are zero-dimensional atoms of space. In addition to points, there are other kinds of “thin” boundary regions, like surfaces of spheres. Some regions include their boundaries—the closed regions—others exclude them—the open regions—and others include some bits of boundary and exclude others. Moreover, space includes unextended regions whose size is zero. (2) Space is “gunky”.1 Every region contains still smaller regions—there are no spatial atoms. Every region is “thick”—there are no boundary regions. Every region is extended. Pointy theories of space and space-time—such as Euclidean space or Minkowski space—are the kind that figure in modern physics. A rival tradition, most famously associated in the last century with A. N. Whitehead, instead embraces gunk.2 On the Whiteheadian view, points, curves and surfaces are not parts of space, but rather abstractions from the true regions. Three different motivations push philosophers toward gunky space. The first is that the physical space (or space-time) of our universe might be gunky. We posit spatial reasons to explain what goes on with physical objects; thus the main reason..
|Keywords||Mereology Topology Measure Theory Space-time|
|Categories||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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
A. J. Cotnoir (2013). Strange Parts: The Metaphysics of Non‐Classical Mereologies. Philosophy Compass 8 (9):834-845.
Similar books and articles
Peter Forrest (2010). Mereotopology without mereology. Journal of Philosophical Logic 39 (3):229 - 254.
Thomas Mormann (1998). Continuous Lattices and Whiteheadian Theory of Space. Logic and Logical Philosophy 6:35 - 54.
James Franklin (1994). Achievements and Fallacies in Hume's Account of Infinite Divisibility. Hume Studies 20 (1):85-101.
Ian Pratt-Hartmann & Dominik Schoop (2002). Elementary Polyhedral Mereotopology. Journal of Philosophical Logic 31 (5):469-498.
Frank Arntzenius (2003). Is Quantum Mechanics Pointless? Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1447-1457.
Josh Parsons (2007). 7. Theories of Location. Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 3:201.
Added to index2009-03-31
Total downloads170 ( #3,533 of 1,096,272 )
Recent downloads (6 months)51 ( #1,183 of 1,096,272 )
How can I increase my downloads?