Achille C. Varzi

  • Parts and Places

    Parts and Places

    The Structures of Spatial Representation

    Roberto Casati and Achille C. Varzi

    Thinking about space is thinking about spatial things. The table is on the carpet; hence the carpet is under the table. The vase is in the box; hence the box is not in the vase. But what does it mean for an object to be somewhere? How are objects tied to the space they occupy? In this book Roberto Casati and Achille C. Varzi address some of the fundamental issues in the philosophy of spatial representation. Their starting point is an analysis of the interplay between mereology (the study of part/whole relations), topology (the study of spatial continuity and compactness), and the theory of spatial location proper. This leads to a unified framework for spatial representation understood quite broadly as a theory of the representation of spatial entities. The framework is then tested against some classical metaphysical questions such as: Are parts essential to their wholes? Is spatial co-location a sufficient criterion of identity? What (if anything) distinguishes material objects from events and other spatial entities? The concluding chapters deal with applications to topics as diverse as the logical analysis of movement and the semantics of maps.

    • Hardcover $45.00 £31.95
    • Paperback $23.00 £17.99
  • Holes and Other Superficialities

    Holes and Other Superficialities

    Roberto Casati and Achille C. Varzi

    This fascinating investigation on the borderlines of metaphysics, everyday geometry, and the theory of perception seeks to answer two basic questions: Do holes really exist? And if so, what are they? Holes are among entities that down-to-earth philosophers would like to expel from their ontological inventory. Casati and Varzi argue in favor of their existence and explore the consequences of this unorthodox approach—odd as these might appear. They examine the ontology of holes, their geometry, their part-whole relations, their identity, their causal role, and the ways we perceive them.

    A Bradford Book

    • Hardcover $40.00
    • Paperback $30.00 £24.00

Contributor

  • Carving Nature at Its Joints

    Carving Nature at Its Joints

    Natural Kinds in Metaphysics and Science

    Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke, and Matthew H. Slater

    Reflections on the metaphysics and epistemology of classification from a distinguished group of philosophers.

    Contemporary discussions of the success of science often invoke an ancient metaphor from Plato's Phaedrus: successful theories should "carve nature at its joints." But is nature really "jointed"? Are there natural kinds of things around which our theories cut? The essays in this volume offer reflections by a distinguished group of philosophers on a series of intertwined issues in the metaphysics and epistemology of classification.

    The contributors consider such topics as the relevance of natural kinds in inductive inference; the role of natural kinds in natural laws; the nature of fundamental properties; the naturalness of boundaries; the metaphysics and epistemology of biological kinds; and the relevance of biological kinds to certain questions in ethics. Carving Nature at Its Joints offers both breadth and thematic unity, providing a sampling of state-of-the-art work in contemporary analytic philosophy that will be of interest to a wide audience of scholars and students concerned with classification.

    • Hardcover $13.75 £11.95
    • Paperback $35.00 £27.00