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On drawing lines on a map

In A. U. Frank, W. Kuhn & D. M. Mark (eds.), Spatial Information Theory: Proceedings of COSIT '95. New York: Springer. pp. 475-484 (1995)

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  1. Propositions as (Non-Linguistic) Objects and Philosophy of Law: Norms-as-Propositions.Guglielmo Feis - 2020 - Filozofija I Društvo 31 (3):406-419.
    The paper distinguishes two accounts of legal normativity. One-source accounts claim there is only one source for legal normativity, which is ultimately linguistic. Two-source accounts claim legal normativity is both linguistic and non-linguistic. Two-source accounts claim we need to go beyond language and beyond propositions taken as linguistic entities, while they are one-source accounts? main conceptual tool. Both accounts construct propositions as linguistic. There is, nevertheless, a documented analytic tradition starting with G.E. Moore that constructs propositions as non-linguistic entities. Today, (...)
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  • Vagueness in Geography.Achille C. Varzi - 2001 - Philosophy and Geography 4 (1):49–65.
    Some have argued that the vagueness exhibited by geographic names and descriptions such as ‘Albuquerque’, ‘the Outback’, or ‘Mount Everest’ is ultimately ontological: these terms are vague because they refer to vague objects, objects with fuzzy boundaries. I take the opposite stand and hold the view that geographic vagueness is exclusively semantic, or conceptual at large. There is no such thing as a vague mountain. Rather, there are many things where we conceive a mountain to be, each with its precise (...)
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  • More Things in Heaven and Earth.Barry Smith - 1995 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 50 (1):187-201.
    Philosophers in the field of analytic metaphysics have begun gradually to come to terms with the fact that there are entities in a range of categories not dreamt of in the set-theory and predicate-logic-based ontologies of their forefathers. Examples of such “entia minora” would include: boundaries, places, events, states holes, shadows, individual colour- and tone-instances (tropes), together with combinations of these and associated simple and complex universal species or essences, states of affairs, judgment-contents, and myriad abstract structures of the sorts (...)
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  • Events, Truth, and Indeterminacy.Achille C. Varzi - 2002 - The Dialogue 2:241-264.
    The semantics of our event talk is a complex affair. What is it that we are talking about when we speak of Brutus’s stabbing of Caesar? Exactly where and when did it take place? Was it the same event as the killing of Caesar? Some take questions such as these to be metaphysical questions. I think they are questions of semantics—questions about the way we talk and about what we mean. And I think that this conflict between metaphysic and semantic (...)
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  • The Water Falls but the Waterfall Does Not Fall: New Perspectives on Objects, Processes and Events.Antony Galton & Riichiro Mizoguchi - 2009 - Applied Ontology 4 (2):71-107.
  • An Ontological Analysis of States: Organizations Vs. Legal Persons.Edward Heath Robinson - 2010 - Applied Ontology 5 (2):109-125.
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  • Logic and Formal Ontology.B. Smith - 1989 - In J. N. Mohanty & W. McKenna (eds.), Husserl’s Phenomenology: A Textbook. Lanham: University Press of America. pp. 29-67.
    The current resurgence of interest in cognition and in the nature of cognitive processing has brought with it also a renewed interest in the early work of Husserl, which contains one of the most sustained attempts to come to grips with the problems of logic from a cognitive point of view. Logic, for Husserl, is a theory of science; but it is a theory which takes seriously the idea that scientific theories are constituted by the mental acts of cognitive subjects. (...)
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  • Reexamining Fiat, Bona Fide and Force Dynamic Boundaries for Geopolitical Entities and Their Placement in DOLCE.Edward Heath Robinson - 2012 - Applied Ontology 7 (1):93-108.
  • Ontology with Human Subjects Testing: An Empirical Investigation of Geographic Categories.Barry Smith & David M. Mark - 1998 - American Journal of Economics and Sociology 58 (2):245–272.
    Ontology, since Aristotle, has been conceived as a sort of highly general physics, a science of the types of entities in reality, of the objects, properties, categories and relations which make up the world. At the same time ontology has been for some two thousand years a speculative enterprise. It has rested methodologically on introspection and on the construction and analysis of elaborate world-models and of abstract formal-ontological theories. In the work of Quine and others this ontological theorizing in abstract (...)
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  • A Taxonomy of Granular Partitions.Thomas E. Bittner & Barry Smith - 2001 - In Daniel Montello (ed.), Spatial Information Theory. Foundations of Geographic Information Science. Berlin: Springer. pp. 28-43.
    In this paper we propose a formal theory of partitions (ways of dividing up or sorting or mapping reality) and we show how the theory can be applied in the geospatial domain. We characterize partitions at two levels: as systems of cells (theory A), and in terms of their projective relation to reality (theory B). We lay down conditions of well-formedness for partitions and we define what it means for partitions to project truly onto reality. We continue by classifying well-formed (...)
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  • Ontology and Geographic Objects: An Empirical Study of Cognitive Categorization.David M. Mark, Barry Smith & Barbara Tversky - 1999 - In C. Freksa & David M. Mark (eds.), Spatial Information Theory. Cognitive and Computational Foundations of Geographic Information Science (Lecture Notes in Computer Science 1661). pp. 283-298.
    Cognitive categories in the geographic realm appear to manifest certain special features as contrasted with categories for objects at surveyable scales. We have argued that these features reflect specific ontological characteristics of geographic objects. This paper presents hypotheses as to the nature of the features mentioned, reviews previous empirical work on geographic categories, and presents the results of pilot experiments that used English-speaking subjects to test our hypotheses. Our experiments show geographic categories to be similar to their non-geographic counterparts in (...)
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  • The Mystery of Capital and the Construction of Social Reality.Barry Smith, David M. Mark & Isaac Ehrlich (eds.) - 2008 - Open Court.
    John Searle’s The Construction of Social Reality and Hernando de Soto’s The Mystery of Capital shifted the focus of current thought on capital and economic development to the cultural and conceptual ideas that underpin market economies and that are taken for granted in developed nations. This collection of essays assembles 21 philosophers, economists, and political scientists to help readers understand these exciting new theories.
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  • Features, Objects, and Other Things: Ontological Distinctions in the Geographic Domain.David M. Mark, Andre Skupin & Barry Smith - 2001 - In Daniel Montello (ed.), Spatial Information Theory: Foundations of Geographic Information Science. New York: Springer. pp. 489-502.
    Two hundred and sixty-three subjects each gave examples for one of five geographic categories: geographic features, geographic objects, geographic concepts, something geographic, and something that could be portrayed on a map. The frequencies of various responses were significantly different, indicating that the basic ontological terms feature, object, etc., are not interchangeable but carry different meanings when combined with adjectives indicating geographic or mappable. For all of the test phrases involving geographic, responses were predominantly natural features such as mountain, river, lake, (...)
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  • Fiat and Bona Fide Boundaries.Barry Smith & Achille C. Varzi - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (2):401-420.
    There is a basic distinction, in the realm of spatial boundaries, between bona fide boundaries on the one hand, and fiat boundaries on the other. The former are just the physical boundaries of old. The latter are exemplified especially by boundaries induced through human demarcation, for example in the geographic domain. The classical problems connected with the notions of adjacency, contact, separation and division can be resolved in an intuitive way by recognizing this two-sorted ontology of boundaries. Bona fide boundaries (...)
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  • Basic Problems of Mereotopology.Achille C. Varzi - 1998 - In Nicola Guarino (ed.), Formal Ontology in Information Systems. Ios Press. pp. 29–38.
    Mereotopology is today regarded as a major tool for ontological analysis, and for many good reasons. There are, however, a number of open questions that call for an answer. Some are philosophical, others have direct applicative import, but all are crucial for a proper assessment of the strengths and limits of mereotopology. This paper is an attempt to put sum order in this area.
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  • Ontological Foundations for Geographic Information Science.David Mark, Barry Smith, Max Egenhofer & Stephen Hirtle - 2004 - In Robert McMaster & E. Lynn Usery (eds.), A Research Agenda for Geographic Information Science. CRC Press. pp. 335-350.
    We propose as a UCGIS research priority the topic of “Ontological Foundations for Geographic Information.” Under this umbrella we unify several interrelated research subfields, each of which deals with different perspectives on geospatial ontologies and their roles in geographic information science. While each of these subfields could be addressed separately, we believe it is important to address ontological research in a unitary, systematic fashion, embracing conceptual issues concerning what would be required to establish an exhaustive ontology of the geospatial domain, (...)
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  • Boundaries, Conventions, and Realism.Achille C. Varzi - 2011 - In Michael O'Rourke, Joseph K. Campbell & Matthew H. Slater (eds.), Carving Nature at its Joints: Natural Kinds in Metaphysics and Science. MIT Press. pp. 129–153.
    Are there any bona fide boundaries, i.e., boundaries that carve at the joints? Or is any boundary —hence any object—the result of a fiat articulation reflecting our cognitive biases and our so-cial practices and conventions? Does the choice between these two options amount to a choice between realism and wholesome relativism?
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  • The Niche.Barry Smith & Achille C. Varzi - 1999 - Noûs 33 (2):214-238.
    The concept of niche (setting, context, habitat, environment) has been little studied by ontologists, in spite of its wide application in a variety of disciplines from evolutionary biology to economics. What follows is a first formal theory of this concept, a theory of the relations between objects and their niches. The theory builds upon existing work on mereology, topology, and the theory of spatial location as tools of formal ontology. It will be illustrated above all by means of simple biological (...)
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  • Vague Reference and Approximating Judgements.Thomas Bittner & Barry Smith - 2003 - Spatial Cognition and Computation 3 (2):137–156.
    We propose a new account of vagueness and approximation in terms of the theory of granular partitions. We distinguish different kinds of crisp and non-crisp granular partitions and we describe the relations between them, concentrating especially on spatial examples. We describe the practice whereby subjects use regular grid-like reference partitions as a means for tempering the vagueness of their judgments, and we demonstrate how the theory of reference partitions can yield a natural account of this practice, which is referred to (...)
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  • Agglomerations.Barry Smith - 1999 - In C. Freksa & David M. Mark (eds.), Spatial Information Theory. Cognitive and Computational Foundations of Geographic Information Science. New York: Springer. pp. 267-282.
    Where some have attempted to apply cognitive methods to the study of geography, the present paper is designed to serve as a starting point for applying methods of geographic ontology to the phenomena of cognition. Agglomerations are aggregates of entities that are dispersed through space on geographic scales. Examples include: plagues, biological species, major world religions. The paper applies standard mereotopological theories of spatial regions to agglomerations in this sense. It offers the beginnings of a general theory of the relations (...)
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  • Environmental Metaphysics.Barry Smith & Achille C. Varzi - 2001 - In Uwe A. Meixner Meixner (ed.), Metaphysics in the Post-Metaphysical Age. Proceedings of the 22nd International Wittgenstein-Symposium. Vienna: Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky. pp. 231-242.
    We propose the beginnings of a general theory of environments, of the parts or regions of space in which organisms live and move. We draw on two sources: on the one hand on recent work on the ontology of space; and on the other hand on work by ecological scientists on concepts such as territory, habitat, and niche. An environment is in first approximation a volume of space; it is a specific habitat, location, or site that is suitable or adequate (...)
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  • The Formal Structure of Ecological Contexts.Barry Smith & Achille C. Varzi - 1999 - In Paolo Bouquet, Patrick Brezillon, Francesca Castellani & Luciano Serafini (eds.), Modeling and Using Context. Proceedings of the Second International and Interdisciplinary Conference. Springer. pp. 339–350.
    This is an informal presentation of the theory of niches understood as ecological contexts. The first part sets out the basic conceptual background. The second part outlines the main principles of the theory and addresses the question of how the theory can be extended to aid our thinking in relation to the special types of causal integrity that characterize niches and niched entities.
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  • Fiat Objects.Barry Smith - 2001 - Topoi 20 (2):131-148.
    Human cognitive acts are directed towards entities of a wide range of different types. What follows is a new proposal for bringing order into this typological clutter. A categorial scheme for the objects of human cognition should be (1) critical and realistic. Cognitive subjects are liable to error, even to systematic error of the sort that is manifested by believers in the Pantheon of Olympian gods. Thus not all putative object-directed acts should be recognized as having objects of their own. (...)
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  • An Ontological Approach to Territorial Disputes.Neil Otte, Brian Donohue & Barry Smith - 2014 - In Semantic Technology in Intelligence, Defense and Security (STIDS), CEUR, vol. 1304. CEUR. pp. 2-9.
    Disputes over territory are a major contributing factor to the disruption of international relations. We believe that a cumulative, integrated, and continuously updated resource providing information about such disputes in an easily accessible form would be of benefit to intelligence analysts, military strategists, political scientists, and also to historians and others concerned with international disputes. We propose an ontology-based strategy for creating such a resource. The resource will contain information about territorial disputes, arguments for and against claims pertaining to sovereignty, (...)
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  • Confini. Dove finisce una cosa e inizia un’altra.Achille C. Varzi - 2007 - In Andrea Bottani & Richard Davies (eds.), Ontologie regionali. Mimesis. pp. 209–222.
    Ci imbattiamo in un confine ogni volta che pensiamo a un’entità demarcata rispetto a ciò che la circonda. C’è un confine (una superficie) che delimita l’interno di una sfera dal suo esterno; c’è un confine (una frontiera) che separa il Maryland dalla Pennsylvania. Talvolta la collocazione esatta di un confine non è chiara o è in qualche modo controversa (come quando si cerchi di tracciare i limiti del monte Everest, o il confine del nostro corpo). Talaltra il confine non corrisponde (...)
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  • Ontological Tools for Geographic Representation.Roberto Casati, Barry Smith & Achille C. Varzi - 1998 - In Nicola Guarino (ed.), Formal Ontology in Information Systems (FOIS). Ios Press. pp. 77--85.
    This paper is concerned with certain ontological issues in the foundations of geographic representation. It sets out what these basic issues are, describes the tools needed to deal with them, and draws some implications for a general theory of spatial representation. Our approach has ramifications in the domains of mereology, topology, and the theory of location, and the question of the interaction of these three domains within a unified spatial representation theory is addressed. In the final part we also consider (...)
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  • Basic Concepts of Formal Ontology.Barry Smith - 1998 - In Nicola Guarino (ed.), Formal Ontology in Information Systems. IOS Press. pp. 19-28.
    The term ‘formal ontology’ was first used by the philosopher Edmund Husserl in his Logical Investigations to signify the study of those formal structures and relations – above all relations of part and whole – which are exemplified in the subject-matters of the different material sciences. We follow Husserl in presenting the basic concepts of formal ontology as falling into three groups: the theory of part and whole, the theory of dependence, and the theory of boundary, continuity and contact. These (...)
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  • A Unified Theory of Truth and Reference.Barry Smith & Berit Brogaard - 2000 - Logique Et Analyse 43 (169-170):49–93.
    The truthmaker theory rests on the thesis that the link between a true judgment and that in the world to which it corresponds is not a one-to-one but rather a one-to-many relation. An analogous thesis in relation to the link between a singular term and that in the world to which it refers is already widely accepted. This is the thesis to the effect that singular reference is marked by vagueness of a sort that is best understood in supervaluationist terms. (...)
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  • Mereotopology: A Theory of Parts and Boundaries.Barry Smith - 1996 - Data and Knowledge Engineering 20 (3):287–303.
    The paper is a contribution to formal ontology. It seeks to use topological means in order to derive ontological laws pertaining to the boundaries and interiors of wholes, to relations of contact and connectedness, to the concepts of surface, point, neighbourhood, and so on. The basis of the theory is mereology, the formal theory of part and whole, a theory which is shown to have a number of advantages, for ontological purposes, over standard treatments of topology in set-theoretic terms. One (...)
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  • Aristoteles 2002.Barry Smith - 2003 - In T. Buchheim (ed.), Kann man heute noch etwas anfangen mit Aristoteles? Meiner. pp. 3-38.
    The essay surveys recent developments in ontology and defends a strategy for improvement of ontologies based on ontological realism. As a thought experiment, we consider central theses of Aristotelian metaphysics, and show how they fall short of what we believe to be the requirements of ontology today. Above all, Aristotle provides us with no strategy for the reconciliation of common-sense realism and scientific realism where these diverge. We focus specifically on shortfalls in Aristotle’s treatment of individual accidents, especially in regard (...)
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  • Objects and Their Environments: From Aristotle to Ecological Ontology.Barry Smith - 2001 - In Andrew U. Frank, Jonathan Raper & Jean-Paul Cheylan (eds.), The Life and Motion of Socio-Economic Units. London: Taylor & Francis. pp. 79-97.
    What follows is a contribution to the theory of space and of spatial objects. It takes as its starting point the philosophical subfield of ontology, which can be defined as the science of what is: of the various types and categories of objects and relations in all realms of being. More specifically, it begins with ideas set forth by Aristotle in his Categories and Metaphysics, two works which constitute the first great contributions to ontological science. Because Aristotle’s ontological ideas were (...)
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  • SNAP and SPAN: Towards Dynamic Spatial Ontology.Pierre Grenon & Barry Smith - 2004 - Spatial Cognition and Computation 4 (1):69–103.
    We propose a modular ontology of the dynamic features of reality. This amounts, on the one hand, to a purely spatial ontology supporting snapshot views of the world at successive instants of time and, on the other hand, to a purely spatiotemporal ontology of change and process. We argue that dynamic spatial ontology must combine these two distinct types of inventory of the entities and relationships in reality, and we provide characterizations of spatiotemporal reasoning in the light of the interconnections (...)
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  • Boundaries: A Brentanian Theory.Barry Smith - 2000 - Brentano Studien 8:107-114.
    According to Brentano's theory of boundaries, no boundary can exist without being connected with a continuum. But there is no specifiable part of the continuum, and no point, which is such that we may say that it is the existence of that part or of that point which conditions the boundary. - An adequate theory of the continuum must now recognize that boundaries be boundaries only in certain directions and not in others. This leads to consequences in other areas, too.
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  • A Theory of Divides.Barry Smith - 1999 - The Analytic-Continental Divide Conference.
    Some would conceive philosophy as being divided into Analytic and Continental. This, as John Searle points out, is rather like conceiving America as being divided into Business and Kansas. Searle’s wise saying has not, as yet, received the theoretical attention it deserves. In both cases we have a certain domain, which is conceived as being divided into two parts, one defined in spatial terms, the other defined in terms of objects, practices or features widely spread through some spatial area. We (...)
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  • Biodynamic Ontology: Applying BFO in the Biomedical Domain.Barry Smith, Pierre Grenon & Louis Goldberg - 2004 - Studies in Health and Technology Informatics 102:20–38.
    Current approaches to formal representation in biomedicine are characterized by their focus on either the static or the dynamic aspects of biological reality. We here outline a theory that combines both perspectives and at the same time tackles the by no means trivial issue of their coherent integration. Our position is that a good ontology must be capable of accounting for reality both synchronically (as it exists at a time) and diachronically (as it unfolds through time), but that these are (...)
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  • Spatial Reasoning and Ontology: Parts, Wholes, and Locations.Achille C. Varzi - 2007 - In Marco Aiello, Ian E. Pratt-Hartmann & Johan van Benthem (eds.), Handbook of Spatial Logics. Springer Verlag. pp. 945-1038.
    A critical survey of the fundamental philosophical issues in the logic and formal ontology of space, with special emphasis on the interplay between mereology (the theory of parthood relations), topology (broadly understood as a theory of qualitative spatial relations such as continuity and contiguity), and the theory of spatial location proper.
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  • Mereological Commitments.Achille C. Varzi - 2000 - Dialectica 54 (4):283–305.
    We tend to talk about (refer to, quantify over) parts in the same way in which we talk about whole objects. Yet a part is not something to be included in an inventory of the world over and above the whole to which it belongs, and a whole is not something to be included in the inventory over and above its constituent parts. This paper is an attempt to clarify a way of dealing with this tension which may be labeled (...)
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  • Truthmaker Realism.Barry Smith - 1999 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 77 (3):274 – 291.
    We take as our starting point a thesis to the effect that, at least for true judgments of many varieties, there are parts of reality which make such judgments are true. We argue that two distinct components are involved in this truthmaker relation. On the one hand is the relation of necessitation, which holds between an object x and a judgment p when the existence of x entails the truth of p. On the other hand is the dual notion of (...)
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  • Teoria e pratica dei confini.Achille C. Varzi - 2005 - Sistemi Intelligenti 17 (3):399–418.
    Are there any bona fide boundaries, i.e., boundaries that carve at the joints? Or is any boundary—hence any object—the result of a fiat articulation reflecting our cognitive biases and our social practices and conventions? Does the choice between these two options amount to a choice between realism and wholesome relativism?
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  • A Unified Theory of Granularity, Vagueness and Approximation.Thomas Bittner & Barry Smith - 2001 - In COSIT Workshop on Spatial Vagueness, Uncertainty and Granularity. pp. 39.
    Abstract: We propose a view of vagueness as a semantic property of names and predicates. All entities are crisp, on this semantic view, but there are, for each vague name, multiple portions of reality that are equally good candidates for being its referent, and, for each vague predicate, multiple classes of objects that are equally good candidates for being its extension. We provide a new formulation of these ideas in terms of a theory of granular partitions. We show that this (...)
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  • Nisza.Achille C. Varzi & Barry Smith - 2000 - Filozofia Nauki 3:5–30.
    The concept of niche (setting, context, habitat, environment) has been little studied by ontologists, in spite of its wide application in a variety of disciplines from evolutionary biology to economics. What follows is a first formal theory of this concept, a theory of the relations between objects and their niches. The theory builds upon existing work on mereology, topology, and the theory of spatial location as tools of formal ontology. It is illustrated above all by means of simple biological examples, (...)
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  • Boundary.Achille C. Varzi - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    We think of a boundary whenever we think of an entity demarcated from its surroundings. There is a boundary (a line) separating Maryland and Pennsylvania. There is a boundary (a circle) isolating the interior of a disc from its exterior. There is a boundary (a surface) enclosing the bulk of this apple. Sometimes the exact location of a boundary is unclear or otherwise controversial (as when you try to trace out the margins of Mount Everest, or even the boundary of (...)
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