Data and Knowledge Engineering 20 (3):287–303 (1996)

Authors
Barry Smith
State University of New York, Buffalo
Abstract
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 central goal of the paper is to provide a rigorous formulation of Brentano's thesis to the effect that a boundary can exist as a matter of necessity only as part of a whole of higher dimension which it is the boundary of. It concludes with a brief survey of current applications of mereotopology in areas such as natural-language analysis, geographic information systems, machine vision, naive physics, and database and knowledge engineering.
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References found in this work BETA

On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Wiley-Blackwell.
Parts: A Study in Ontology.Peter M. Simons - 1987 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 17 (2):278-279.
On the Plurality of Worlds.William G. Lycan - 1988 - Journal of Philosophy 85 (1):42-47.

View all 35 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Mereological Commitments.Achille C. Varzi - 2000 - Dialectica 54 (4):283–305.
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.

View all 54 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Truth and the Visual Field.Barry Smith - 1999 - In Jean Petitot, F. J. Varela, Bernard Pachoud & J.-M. Roy (eds.), Naturalizing Phenomenology: Issues in Contemporary Phenomenology and Cognitive Science. Stanford: Stanford University Press. pp. 317-329.
Fiat and Bona Fide Boundaries.Barry Smith & Achille C. Varzi - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (2):401-420.
Basic Problems of Mereotopology.Achille C. Varzi - 1998 - In Nicola Guarino (ed.), Formal Ontology in Information Systems. Ios Press. pp. 29–38.

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