Wittgenstein constantly invokes teaching, training and learning in his later work. It is therefore interesting to consider what role these notions play for him there. I argue that their use is central to Wittgenstein’s attempt to refute cognitivist assumptions, and to show how normative practices can be understood without the threat of circularity, grounded not in a kind of seeing, but in doing, and the natural reactions of an organism. This can generate a worry that Wittgenstein’s position is quietist and (...) anti-critical: critique, as a challenge to the taken-for-granted grammar of our language game, is technically meaningless. I argue that Wittgenstein does not rule out critique. His own practice demonstrates that critique is possible, but takes place within a language game, and its status as critique is always subject to challenge in the agora of a discourse. (shrink)
I defend the view that we should not overintellectualize the mind. Nonhuman animals can occupy islands of practical rationality: they can have contextbound reasons for action even though they lack full conceptual abilities. Holism and the possibility of mistake are required for such reasons to be the agent's reasons, but these requirements can be met in the absence of inferential promiscuity. Empirical work with animals is used to illustrate the possibility that reasons for action could be (...) bound to symbolic or social contexts, and connections are made to simulationist accounts of cognitive skills. (shrink)
Given the Sellarsian distinction between the space of causes and the space of reasons, the naturalist seeks to articulate how these two spaces are unproblematically related. In Mind and World (1996) John McDowell suggests that such a naturalism can be achieved by pointing out that we work our way into the space of reasons by the process of upbringing he calls Bildung. 'The resulting habits of thought and action', writes McDowell, 'are second nature' (p. 84). (...) In this paper I expose one implication of this remark, namely, that Bildung naturalism requires a conception of a type of action which is at once rational and habitual. Current orthodoxies in the philosophy of action prevent these two features from easily co-existing. Whilst various reconciliations are possible, I argue that only one keeps Bildung naturalism intact. This, however, commits the naturalist to a conception of reasons more radically external than any to be found in current literature, according to which the agent need have no conception of what her reasons are at the time of acting. This is what I call acting in the dark of reasons. One upshot for McDowell is that this conception of reasons may be in tension with some of his other claims. (shrink)
Pila (2009) has criticised the recommendations made by requirements engineers involved in the design of a grid technology for the support of distributed readings of mammograms made by Jirotka et al. (2005). The disagreement between them turns on the notion of “biographical familiarity” and whether it can be a sound basis for trust for the performances of professionals such as radiologists. In the first two sections, this paper gives an interpretation of the position of each side in this disagreement and (...) their recommendation for the design of technology for distributed reading, and in the third the underlying reasons for this is agreement are discussed. It is argued that Pila, in attempting to make room for mistrust as well as trust, brings to the fore the question of having and reflecting upon reasons for trust or mistrust. Pila holds that biographical familiarity is not a sound reason for trust/mistrust, as it seems to obliterate the possibility of mistrust. In response to her proposal, an analysis is proposed of the forms of trust involved in biographical familiarity. In particular, implicit trust is focused upon — as a form of trust in advance of reasons, and as a form of trust contained (in the logical sense) within other reasons. It is proposed that implicit trust has an important role in establishing an intersubjectively shared world in which what counts as a reason for the acceptability of performances such as readings of X-rays is established. Implicit trust, therefore, is necessary for professionals to enter into a “space of reasons”. To insist upon judgements made in the absence of the form of implicit trust at play in biographical familiarity is to demand that radiologists (and other relevantly similar professionals) make judgements regarding whether to trust or mistrust on the basis of reasons capable of being reflected upon, but at the same time leave them without reasons upon which to reflect. (shrink)
The thought of Wilfrid Sellars has figured prominently in recent discussions of the relationship between naturalism and normativity . On the one hand, some have appealed to Sellars' philosophy in defence of the thesis that what he called the normative 'space of reasons' is in some sense sui generis and irreducible to the natural causal order described by the natural sciences. On the other hand, others have exploited equally central aspects of Sellars' philosophy in defence of the seemingly (...) incompatible project of attempting to give an exhaustive scientifically naturalist account of mind and meaning, and perhaps of the nature of normativity itself. I contend that what Sellars described as 'the Janus-faced character of languagings as belonging to both the causal order and the order of reasons' ( Naturalism and Ontology ) is the key to understanding his normative and pragmatist variety of naturalism. Sellars saw himself as having articulated a detailed philosophical perspective within which the normative aspects of meaning, knowledge, truth, and representation are themselves opened up, in principle, to naturalistic explanation. (shrink)
Two questions are central to the “rationality debate” in the philosophy of social science. First, should we acknowledge differences in basic norms of epistemic and agential rationality, or in the content of perceptual experience, as the “best explanation” of radical differences in belief and practice? Second, can genuine understanding be achieved between cultures and research traditions that so differ in their beliefs and practices? I survey a number of responses to these questions, and suggest that one of these, “dialogical optimism”, (...) while attractive, is in need of further clarification. Such clarification may be forthcoming if we attend to recent work by John McDowell. McDowell claims that perceptual experience, as our primary mode of epistemic access to the world, must be located within what Sellars termed the “space of reasons” if we are to make sense of our conception of ourselves as thinking creatures. I develop a reading of this claim in terms of a fundamental duality in human perceptual experience, and use this conception of experience to illuminate the dialogical optimist strategy in the rationality debate. (shrink)
(2010). Introduction: Naturalism, Normativity, and the Space of Reasons. International Journal of Philosophical Studies: Vol. 18, Naturalism, Normativity, and the Space of Reasons, pp. 313-315. doi: 10.1080/09672559.2010.494434.
Epistemology of testimony’s map has been charted by identifying the basic controversy between reductionism and non-reductions. John McDowell’s article “Knowledge by Hearsay” (1993/1998) has been taken as a clear example of non-reductionism. This is, however, only partially right. It is correct that, as a non-reductionist, he defends the justifying role that the default position plays in testimonial knowledge. But, his insistence on situating the default position inside the space of reasons suggests that default position should be understood as (...) a kind of reasoning, and that only then evidential reasons can be applied in concrete justifying procedures. This is a very different understanding of the default position from that of classical non-reductionists such as Coady (1992) and Burge (1993, 1997). If McDowell’s epistemology of testimony can be understood in this way, as this paper aims to establish, it should be considered as an attempt tosupersede the reductionist and non-reductionist dichotomy, an attempt that brings a series of reconsiderations of a satisfactory epistemology of testimony. (shrink)
Wilfrid Sellars employs the metaphor of the space of reasons to express a certain conception of knowledge: “in characterising an episode or state as that of knowing … one is placing it in the logical space of reasons, of justifying and being able to justify what one says”.1 A growing number of philosophers employ the same metaphor to express a conception of at least some (other) mental states: in characterising a state as that of belief, or (...) intention, one is placing it in the same logical space.2 The burden of Alan Millar’s characteristically careful and thought-provoking book is to tell us what this conception amounts to, and to argue for its truth. Its central claim is that the concepts of belief and intention, and what they are concepts of, are (in a sense to be explained) normative. Chapter four – “the heart of the book”, in Millar’s view3 – is devoted to explaining, and defending this claim. (shrink)
This quoted passage makes a negative claim – a claim about what we are not doing when we characterize an episode or state as that of knowing – and it also makes a positive claim – a claim about what we are doing when we characterize an episode or state as that of knowing. Although McDowell has not endorsed the negative claim, he has repeatedly and explicitly endorsed the positive claim, i.e., that “in characterizing an episode or a state as (...) that of knowing… we are placing it in the logical space of reasons, of justifying and being able to justify what one says.” This is what I will henceforth call “the positive Sellarsian claim”. (shrink)
In this issue, Pila (2009) has criticised the recommendations made by requirements engineers involved in the design of a grid technology for the support of distributed readings of mammograms made by Jirotka et al. (2005). The disagreement between them turns on the notion of “biographical familiarity” and whether it can be a sound basis for trust for the performances of professionals such as radiologists. In the first two sections, this paper gives an interpretation of the position of each side in (...) this disagreement and their recommendation for the design of technology for distributed reading, and in the third the underlying reasons for this disagreement are discussed. It is argued that Pila, in attempting to make room for mistrust as well as trust, brings to the fore the question of having and reflecting upon reasons for trust or mistrust. Pila holds that biographical familiarity is not a sound reason for trust/mistrust, as it seems to obliterate the possibility of mistrust. In response to her proposal, an analysis is proposed of the forms of trust involved in biographical familiarity. In particular, implicit trust is focused upon—as a form of trust in advance of reasons, and as a form of trust contained (in the logical sense) within other reasons. It is proposed that implicit trust has an important role in establishing an intersubjectively shared world in which what counts as a reason for the acceptability of performances such as readings of X-rays is established. Implicit trust, therefore, is necessary for professionals to enter into a “space of reasons”. To insist upon judgements made in the absence of the form of implicit trust at play in biographical familiarity is to demand that radiologists (and other relevantly similar professionals) make judgements regarding whether to trust or mistrust on the basis of reasons capable of being reflected upon, but at the same time leave them without reasons upon which to reflect. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction -- Moral Philosophy and Experience -- Moral Particularism -- Perception and The Myth of the Moral Given -- Moral Judgement -- Moral Phenomenology -- The Space of Moral Reasons -- Conclusion -- Index.
Hurley is right to reject the dichotomy between intentional agents and mere stimulus/response habit machines, and she is also right in thinking that it is important to map the space of systems for the adaptive control of behaviour. So there is much in this paper with which I agree. My disagreement concerns folk psychology. Hurley thinks that control space can be charted by asking whether and to what extent animals are intentional agents. In contrast, I doubt that the (...) concepts of folk psychology, especially folk psychology construed as an interpretative practice, are the right mapping tools. If the main function of folk psychology is to make sense of one another, coordinate joint action, or make decisions about moral and legal responsibility, then there is no point in applying folk psychological notions to nonhuman minds. These interpretative functions simply do not arise for our interaction with nonhuman minds, and if folk psychology serves largely as a social tool serving them, there is no need to apply it to nonhumans, nor is there a reasonable expectation that we can usefully do so. If folk psychology does not even carve our sensing and control mechanisms at the joints, if it is not a good theory of human cognitive architecture, then it is not likely to be wellsuited for describing those of nonhuman agents. (shrink)
In this article I intend to show the strict relation between the notions of “second nature” and “recognition”. To do so I begin with a problem (circularity) proper to the theory of Hegelian and post- Hegelian Anerkennung. The solution strategy I propose is signifi cant also in terms of bringing into focus the problems connected with a notion of “space of reasons” that stems from the Hegelian concept of “Spirit”. I thus broach the notion of “second nature” as (...) a bridgeconcept that can play a key role both for a renewal of the theory of Anerkennung and for a rethinking of the “space of reasons” within the debate between Robert Brandom and John McDowell. Against this background I illustrate the novelties introduced by the dialectical conception of the relation between fi rst and second nature developed by Hegel and the contribution this idea can make to a revisited theory of recognition as a phenomenon articulated on two levels. I then return to the question of the space of reasons to show the contribution the renewed conception of recognition as second nature makes to the definition of its intrinsic sociality as something that is not in principle opposed to a sense of naturalness. (shrink)
This paper presents the results of training an artificial neural network (ANN) to classify moral situations. The ANN produces a similarity space in the process of solving its classification problem. The state space is subjected to analysis that suggests that holistic approaches to interpreting its functioning are problematic. The idea of a contributory or pro tanto standard, as discussed in debates between moral particularists and generalists, is used to understand the structure of the similarity space generated by (...) the ANN. A spectrum of possibilities for reasons, from atomistic to holistic, is discussed. Reasons are understood as increasing in nonlocality as they move away from atomism. It is argued that contributory standards could be used to understand forms of nonlocality that need not go all the way to holism. It is also argued that contributory standards may help us to understand the kind of similarity at work in analogical reasoning and argument in ethics. Some objections to using state space approaches to similarity are dealt with, as are objections to using empirical and computational work in philosophy. (shrink)
In Mind and World, John McDowell argues against the view that perceptual representation is non-conceptual. The central worry is that this view cannot offer any reasonable account of how perception bears rationally upon belief. I argue that this worry, though sensible, can be met, if we are clear that perceptual representation is, though non-conceptual, still in some sense 'assertoric': Perception, like belief, represents things as being thus and so.
This paper analyzes agency in Pettit’s republican conception of freedom. By understanding freedom intersubjectively in terms of agency, Pettit makes an important contribution to the contemporary debate on negative liberty. At the same time, some of the presumptions about agency are problematic. The paper defends the thesis that Pettit is not able to provide the sufficient conditions for freedom as non-domination that he sets out to do. In order to show why this is the case and how we can address (...) this shortcoming, a distinction is introduced between a thick and a thin intersubjective account of agency. It is argued that while Pettit’s freedom presupposes a thin account, he would need a thick account in order to elaborate not only the necessary but also the sufficient conditions of freedom as non-domination. (shrink)
It is not difficult to make sense of the idea that beliefs may derive their justification from other beliefs. Difficulties surface when, as in certain epistemological theories, one appeals to sensory experiences to give an account of the structure of justification. This gives rise to the so-called problem of ‘nondoxastic justification’, namely, the problem of seeing how sensory experiences can confer justification on the beliefs they give rise to. In this paper, I begin by criticizing a number of theories that (...) are currently on offer. Finding them all wanting, I shall then offer a diagnosis of why they fail while gesturing towards a promising way of resolving the dispute. It will be argued that what makes the problem of nondoxastic justification a hard one is the difficulty of striking the right balance between a notion of normative justification that is content-sensitive and truth conducive and the possibility of error while acknowledging the fact that our experiences can justify our beliefs in cases we are hallucinating. (shrink)
Inference and meaning -- Some reflections on language games -- Language as thought and as communication -- Meaning as functional classification : a perspective on the relation of syntax to semantics -- Naming and saying -- Grammar and existence : a preface to ontology -- Abstract entities -- Being and being known -- The lever of Archimedes -- Some reflections on thoughts and things -- Mental events -- Phenomenalism -- The identity approach to the mind-body problem -- Philosophy and the (...) scientific image of man -- "...this I or he or it (the thing) which thinks..." -- Some remarks on Kant's theory of experience -- The role of imagination in Kant's theory of experience. (shrink)
Attention has been studied in cognitive psychology for more than half a century, but until recently it was largely neglected in philosophy. Now, philosophers of mind increasingly recognize that attention has an important role to play in our theories of consciousness and of cognition. At the same time, several recent developments in psychology have led psychologists to foundational questions about the nature of attention and its implementation in the brain. As a result there has been a convergence of interest in (...) fundamental questions about attention. This volume presents the latest thinking from the philosophers and psychologists who are working at the interface between these two disciplines. Its fourteen chapters contain detailed philosophical and scientific arguments about the nature and mechanisms of attention; the relationship between attention and consciousness; the role of attention in explaining reference, rational thought, and the control of action; the fundamental metaphysical status of attention, and the details of its implementation in the brain. These contributions combine ideas from phenomenology, neuroscience, cognitive psychology and philosophy of mind to further our understanding of this centrally important mental phenomenon, and to bring to light the foundational questions that any satisfactory theory of attention will need to address. (shrink)
My commentary on Hurley is concerned with foundational issues. Hurley's investigation of animal cognition is cast within a particular framework—basically, a philosophically refined version of folk psychology. Her discussion has a complicated relationship to unresolved debates about the nature and status of folk psychology, especially debates about the extent to which folk psychological categories are aimed at picking out features of the causal organization of the mind.
People often use spatial vocabulary to describe temporal relations, and this increasingly has motivated attempts to map spatial frames of reference (FoRs) onto time. Recent research suggested that speech communities, which differ in how they conceptualize space, may also differ in how they conceptualize time and, more specifically, that the preferences for spatial FoRs should carry over to the domain of time. Here, we scrutinize this assumption (a) by reviewing data from recent studies on temporal references, (b) by comparing (...) data we had collected in previous studies on preferences for spatial and temporal FoRs in four languages, (c) by analyzing new data from dynamic spatial tasks that resemble the temporal tasks more closely, and (d) by assessing the co-variation of individual preferences of English speakers across space and time. While the first set of data paints a mixed picture, the latter three do not support the assumption of a close link between referencing preferences across domains. We explore possible reasons for this lack of consistency and discuss implications for research on temporal references. (shrink)
Stephen Finlay analyses ‘ought’ in terms of probability. According to him, normative ‘ought's are statements about the likelihood that an act will realize some (contextually supplied) end. I raise a problem for this theory. It concerns the relation between ‘ought’ and the balance of reasons. ‘A ought to Φ’ seems to entail that the balance of reasons favours that A Φ-es, and vice versa. Given Finlay's semantics for ‘ought’, it also makes sense to think of reasons and (...) their weight in terms of probability. In this paper, I develop such a theory of weight. It turns out, however, that it cannot explain the entailments. This leaves Finlay with a challenge: to explain these entailments in some other way consistent with his theory, or to show why the appearances deceive and there are no such entailments. (shrink)
The ‘buck-passing’ account equates the value of an object with the existence of reasons to favour it. As we argued in an earlier paper, this analysis faces the ‘wrong kind of reasons’ problem: there may be reasons for pro-attitudes towards worthless objects, in particular if it is the pro-attitudes, rather than their objects, that are valuable. Jonas Olson has recently suggested how to resolve this difficulty: a reason to favour an object is of the right kind only (...) if its formulation does not involve any reference to the attitudes for which it provides a reason. We argue that despite its merits, Olson's solution is unsatisfactory. We go on to suggest that the buck-passing account might be acceptable even if the problem in question turns out to be insoluble. (shrink)
Here I defend my solution to the wrong-kind-of-reason problem against Mark Schroeder’s criticisms. In doing so, I highlight an important difference between other accounts of reasons and my own. While others understand reasons as considerations that count in favor of attitudes, I understand reasons as considerations that bear (or are taken to bear) on questions. Thus, to relate reasons to attitudes, on my account, we must consider the relation between attitudes and questions. By considering that relation, (...) we not only solve the wrong-kind-of-reason problem, but we also bring into view rational agency—the use of reasons in thought. (shrink)
Argumentation involves offering and/or exchanging reasons – either reasons for adopting various attitudes towards specific propositional contents or else reasons for acting in various ways. This paper develops the idea that the force of reasons is through and through a normative force because what good reasons accomplish is precisely to give one a certain sort of entitlement to do what they are reasons for. The paper attempts to shed light on what it is to (...) have a reason, how the sort of entitlement arising from reasons differs from other species of entitlement and how the norms by which such entitlement is assessed obtain their status as norms. (shrink)
The dialogic relationship between individuals and the cultural space of Europe embodies cultural definitions, political definitions and individual definitions. As individuals draw from Europe as a cultural space and strive to identify and define themselves, definitions are created against an “other,” leading to Europe being defined against the “other.” Identity is established through difference, and in this, the relationship between the EU—a force of integration—and Europe as a cultural space is strained. As boundaries change through the European (...) Union, transforming the cultural space of Europe, the “other” against whom individuals have traditionally defined themselves is also transforming. This article asks if the integration of Europe through the European Union is resulting in the political mobilization of xenophobia and thereby transforming the cultural space of Europe into a xenophobic space. As many academics and professionals have argued that xenophobia in Europe has been on the rise since the 1990s, this paper will question how the relationship between the European Union—as a force of European integration—and Europe—as a cultural space—is contributing to the construction of xenophobia. (shrink)
In a recent issue of Utilitas Gerald Lang provided an appealing new solution to the Wrong Kind of Reason problem for the buck-passing account of value. In subsequent issues Jonas Olson and John Brunero have provided objections to Lang's solution. I argue that Brunero's objection is not a problem for Lang's solution, and that a revised version of Lang's solution avoids Olson's objections. I conclude that we can solve the Wrong Kind of Reason problem, and that the wrong kind of (...)reasons for pro-attitudes are reasons that would not still be reasons for pro-attitudes if it were not for the additional consequences of having those pro-attitudes. (shrink)
Is the thought that having a reason for action can also be the cause of the action for which it is the reason coherent? This is an attempt to say exactly what is involved in such a thought, with special reference to the case of con-reasons, reasons that count against the action the agent eventually choses.
This paper defends my claim in earlier work that certain non-causal conditions are sufficient for the truth of some reasons explanations of actions, against the critique of this claim given by Randolph Clarke in his book, Libertarian Accounts of Free Will.
One of the most important disputes in the foundations of ethics concerns the source of practical reasons. On the desire-based view, only one’s desires provide one with reasons to act. On the value-based view, reasons are instead provided by the objective evaluative facts, and never by our desires. Similarly, there are desire-based and non-desired-based theories about two other issues: pleasure and welfare. It has been argued, and is natural to think, that holding a desire-based theory about either (...) pleasure or welfare commits one to recognizing that desires do provide reasons for action – i.e., commits one to abandoning the value-based theory of reasons. The purpose of this paper is to show that this is not so. All of the following can be true: pleasure and welfare provide reasons; pleasure and welfare are to be understood in terms of desire; desires never provide reasons, in the relevant way. (shrink)
It is widely assumed that perception is a source of reasons (SR). There is a weak sense in which this claim is trivially true: even if one characterizes perception in purely causal terms, perceptual beliefs originate from the mind's interaction with the world. When philosophers argue for (SR), however, they have a stronger view in mind: they claim that perception provides pre- or non-doxastic reasons for belief. In this article I examine some ways of developing this view and (...) criticize them. I exploit these results to formulate a series of constraints that a satisfactory account of the epistemic role of perception should fulfil. I also make a positive suggestion: coherentists are right when they claim that only beliefs can be reasons for other beliefs. Nevertheless, I depart from traditional coherentism, for I do not buy its conception of perception as bare sensation, nor explicate the justificatory status of beliefs in terms of coherence. My point is rather that, when one invokes experience to justify a belief, the justifying state must have structural features of beliefs. (shrink)
In this article, I discuss how the space of the classroom is a contested object that is constituted by historical, cultural, political, social, psychological, and discursive practices (Lefebvre in The production of space, Blackwell, Oxford, UK, 1991). I then employ Deleuze and Guattari’s notion of “assemblage” to characterize the ways in which educational spaces cohere “content and affect” quoted in Puar (Terrorist assemblages: Homonationalism in queer times, Duke University Press, Durham, 2007, 193) into discursive figures of the heteronormative (...) and racialized national “family.” Finally, I argue that in order to advance contemporary theorizing on safe space we might consider shifting the metaphor of the classroom (and/or schooling) as a situation of home (in loco parentis) to that of a metaphor of camp. As a discursive practice, “camp” is like “home” in that it has multiple associations of past histories. However, the advantage of the metaphor of classroom as camp allows for a more capacious range of past histories of association, from recreation to temporary inhabitation to forced relocation, thus foregrounding the innate political implications of theorizing space. Moreover, the metaphor of camp implies transience (whether real or imaginary) while keeping in mind the partial and situated nature of particular places and spaces. Foregrounding the transient component/feature of safe space allows us to make visible and explore the possibilities and limitations of conceptualizing relations of power as circuitous, contested and performative through competing claims to particular places as objects of safety. (shrink)
Evaluation processes are a basic component of creativity. They guide not only the pure judgement about a new artefact but also the generation itself, as creators constantly evaluate their own work. This paper proposes a model for automatic story generation based on the evaluation of stories. A model of how quality in stories is evaluated is presented, and two possible implementations of the generation guided by this evaluation are shown: exhaustive space exploration and constrained exploration. A theoretical model and (...) its implementation are explained and validation of the evaluation function through comparison with human criteria is described. (shrink)
In the first edition of his book on the completeness of Kant’s table of judgments, Klaus Reich shortly indicates that the B-version of the metaphysical exposition of space in the Critique of pure reason is structured following the inverse order of the table of categories. In this paper, I develop Reich’s claim and provide further evidence for it. My argumentation is as follows: Through analysis of our actually given representation of space as some kind of object (the formal (...) intuition of space in general), the metaphysical exposition will show that this representation is secondary to space considered as an original, undetermined and as such unrepresentable intuitive manifold. Now, following Kant, the representation of any kind of object involves diversity, synthesis and unity. In the case of our representation of space as formal intuition, this involves, firstly, a manifold a priori, i.e. space as pure form, delivered by the transcendental Aesthetic, secondly, a figurative, productive synthesis of that manifold, and, thirdly, the unity provided by the categories. Analysing our given representation of space – the task of the metaphysical exposition – amounts to dismantling its unity and determine its characteristics with respect to the categories. (shrink)
In this paper I offer a fresh interpretation of Leibniz’s theory of space, in which I explain the connection of his relational theory to both his mathematical theory of analysis situs and his theory of substance. I argue that the elements of his mature theory are not bare bodies (as on a standard relationalist view) nor bare points (as on an absolutist view), but situations. Regarded as an accident of an individual body, a situation is the complex of its (...) angles and distances to other co-existing bodies, founded in the representation or state of the substance or substances contained in the body. The complex of all such mutually compatible situations of co-existing bodies constitutes an order of situations, or instantaneous space. Because these relations of situation change from one instant to another, space is an accidental whole that is continuously changing and becoming something different, and therefore a phenomenon. As Leibniz explains to Clarke, it can be represented mathematically by supposing some set of existents hypothetically (and counterfactually) to remain in a fixed mutual relation of situation, and gauging all subsequent situations in terms of transformations with respect to this initial set. Space conceived in terms of such allowable transformations is the subject of Analysis Situs. Finally, insofar as space is conceived in abstraction from any bodies that might individuate the situations, it encompasses all possible relations of situation. This abstract space, the order of all possible situations, is an abstract entity, and therefore ideal. (shrink)