Maureen Donnelly

Fall 2003


Tues. 3-5:50


Ontology and Cognition: Spatial Entities and Spatial Relations


The topic of this course is spatial ontology. We will consider what kinds of spatial entities there are and what kinds of spatial relations hold among these entities. We will focus on the following (possible) spatial entities: regions, holes, and geographical objects.


Besides the four regular sessions on Tuesday afternoon, we will have two intensive one-day workshops, one on Sat., August 10 and one on Sat., September 27.



Grades will be determined as follows:

40%                             30-60 minute presentation either during the Tuesday sessions or at the Sat. 9/27 workshop.


60%                             One double-spaced 10-15 page paper, due November 15.  Please discuss your paper topic with me by the end of the 3rd week of class.


Tenative Schedule


Tues, Aug 26                Introduction to spatial ontology

                                    Readings: R. Casati, A. Varzi, 1997, "Spatial Entities" in O. Stock ed. Spatial and Temporal Reasoning, Dordrecht: Kluwer, 73-96. ftp

                                    L. Vieu, 1997, "Spatial Representation and Reasoning in Artificial Intelligence" in O. Stock ed. Spatial and Temporal Reasoning, Dordrecht: Kluwer, 5-41. ftp


Sat, Aug 30                  Spatial Ontology Workshop, 9: 30 am - 2:30pm, 280 Park Hall  with presentations by Thomas Bittner, Maureen Donnelly, Lou Goldberg, and David Mark

                                    Suggested Reading:  M. Donnelly, 2003, "Layered Mereology", Proceedings of IJCAI'03. ftp


Tues, Sept 2                 Space, Places, and Movement

                                    Primary Readings:

                                    Newton's Scholium to Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy ftp

The Leibniz/Clarke Correspondence, especially the following passages:

Leibniz's 3th paper (V): 4, 5

Leibniz's 4th paper (VII): 6, 7, 13, 18, 41

Leibniz's 5th paper (IX): 27-33, 47, 52, 104-106



                                    Secondary Readings:

                                    G. Nerlich, 1973, "Hands, Knees, and Absolute Space" The Journal of

                                    Philosophy 70: 12, 337-351. ftp

                                    L. Sklar, 1974, "Incongruous Counterparts, Intrinsic Features, and the

                                    Substantiviality of Space" The Journal of Philosophy 71: 9, 277-290.


Tues, Sept 9                 Holes

                                    Primary Readings:

                                    D. Lewis, S. Lewis, 1970, "Holes", Australasian Journal of

Philosophy 48, 206-212. ftp

R. Casati, A. Varzi, 1994, Holes and Other Superficialities Cambridge:

MIT Press, Chapters 1- 4.


Secondary Readings:

A. Cohn, D. Randell, Z. Cui, 1994 "Taxonomies of Logically Defined

Qualitative Spatial Relations" in N. Guarino, R. Poli, ed. Formal

Ontology in Conceptual Analysis and Knowledge Representation

Kluwer. ftp

A. Cohn, "A Hierachical Representation of Qualitative Shape based

on Connection and Convexity". ftp


Tues Sept 16                Geographical Objects

                                    R. Casati, B. Smith, A. Varzi, 1998 "Ontological Tools for Geographic

                                    Representation" in N. Guarino ed. Formal Ontology in Information

                                    Systems Amsterdam: IOS Press, 77-85. ftp

                                    M. Donnelly, B. Smith, 2003 "Layers: A New Approach to Locating

                                    Objects in Space" presented at COSIT'03. ftp

B. Smith, 2001, "Fiat Objects" Topoi 20: 131-148. ftp

                                    B. Smith, L. Zaibert, 2001 "The Metaphysics of Real Estate" Topoi 20:

                                    161-172. ftp


Sat Sept 27                  Student Workshop, 9:30am-2:30pm, 280 Park Hall