Fiat and Bona Fide Boundaries


Authors
Achille C. Varzi
Columbia University
Barry Smith
State University of New York, Buffalo
Abstract
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 yield a notion of contact that is effectively modeled by classical topology; the analogue of contact involving fiat boundaries calls, however, for a different account, based on the intuition that fiat boundaries do not support the open/closed distinction on which classical topology is based. In the presence of this two-sorted ontology it then transpires that mereotopology—topology erected on a mereological basis—is more than a trivial formal variant of classical point-set topology.
Keywords mereotopology  boundaries  geography  fiat objects
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ISBN(s) 0031-8205
DOI 10.2307/2653492
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References found in this work BETA

Parts: A Study in Ontology.Peter Simons - 1987 - Oxford University Press.
Parts : a Study in Ontology.Peter Simons - 1987 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 2:277-279.
Vague Objects.Michael Tye - 1990 - Mind 99:535.

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Citations of this work BETA

Fiat Objects.Barry Smith - 2001 - Topoi 20 (2):131-148.
SNAP and SPAN: Towards Dynamic Spatial Ontology.Pierre Grenon & Barry Smith - 2004 - Spatial Cognition and Computation 4 (1):69–103.
Truthmaker Realism.Barry Smith - 1999 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 77 (3):274 – 291.
Lady Parts: The Metaphysics of Pregnancy.Elselijn Kingma - 2018 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 82:165-187.
Sixteen Days.Barry Smith & Berit Brogaard - 2003 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 28 (1):45 – 78.

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