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Journal of Logic, Language and Information 10: 270273, 2001. Book Review

Summary: Journal of Logic, Language and Information 10: 270273, 2001.
Book Review
Parts and Places, The Structures of Spatial Representation, Roberto Casati and Achille Varzi,
Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1999. Price: $35.00 (hardcover), viii + 238 pages, ISBN
Since the birth of philosophy, space has been a topic of investigation which has posed puzzles and
challenges. Today, spatial representation is receiving even wider attention. From philosophers to
computer scientists, passing through logicians, linguists, and cognitive scientists, many minds with
different backgrounds are looking at ways to formally represent space and then reason with and
about spatial structures. The book under review is the joint effort of two philosophers who have
already shown their nifty-ness in explaining the nature of some spatial phenomena in Holes and
Other Superficialities (Casati and Varzi, 1994). The present book is not the continuation of Holes,
rather it takes a broader perspective, using holes when necessary to explain spatial peculiarities, but
providing a lot of different examples too. To put it differently, if one has enjoyed Holes, one will
appreciate Parts and Places even more, if instead one has to make a choice between the two books
from Casati and Varzi, it is strongly recommended to start with Parts and Places.
Already in the choice of the title, Casati and Varzi make the first smart move: rather than resorting
to the usual, but somehow cryptic, name of the field they are mainly dealing that is Mereotopology
they use two much simpler synonyms Parts and Places. (The etymology of the word mereology


Source: Aiello, Marco - Institute for Mathematics and Computing Science, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences