Boundaries, continuity, and contact

Noûs 31 (1):26-58 (1997)
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 be treated a mere façon de parler. In this paper I resist this temptation and examine some ways of taking the puzzle at face value within a realist perspective—treating boundaries as ontologically on a par with (albeit parasitic upon) extended parts.
Keywords Boundary  Mereotopology
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/0029-4624.00034
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive Achille C. Varzi, Boundaries, continuity, and contact
External links
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Ludovica Lorusso & Giovanni Boniolo (2008). Clustering Humans: On Biological Boundaries. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 39 (1):163-170.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

99 ( #46,241 of 1,932,585 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

15 ( #56,564 of 1,932,585 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.