the ontology of holes n.
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  1. The Ontology of Holes

  2. Temple at Corinth

  3. Pipe

  4. The Ontology of Places

  5. Towards an Ontology of Places

  6. Aristotle • Ontology of the place (topos) of an individual substance (ousia) • What is it for a substance to be (or to fit snugly) in a location or context?

  7. Aristotle • Place • has size but not matter. • It has shape or form—exactly the shape or form of the thing that is located in it—but it lacks bulk.

  8. Aristotle • We say that a thing is … in the air • because of the surface of the air which surrounds it; • for if all the air were its place, the place of a thing would not be equal to the thing — • which it is supposed to be. (211a24-28)

  9. A place contains its body. • The body relates to its place in something like the way the liquid in an urn relates to the urn, or the hand relates to the glove.

  10. Aristotle: A place • exactly surrounds the thing, • but the place does not depend specifically upon the thing, since the latter can be replaced by another thing, which is then said to be • in the same place.

  11. When a thing is in a surrounding body of air or water • ‘it is primarily in the inner surface of the surrounding body.’ • The boundaries of the two—the outer surface of the thing and the inner surface of its surrounding body—exactly coincide (211a30-33): • the place of a substance is the inner boundary of the immediately surrounding or containing body.

  12. Places are holes

  13. Places are holes

  14. Places are holes

  15. hole A hole in the ground • Solid physical boundaries at the floor and walls but with a fiat lid:

  16. Holes involve two kinds of boundaries • bona fide boundaries which exist independently of our demarcating acts • fiat boundaries which exist only because we put them there

  17. niches, environments are holes

  18. and some holes can move

  19. Where are Places?

  20. Where are Places (Holes)?

  21. Where are Places?

  22. Types of Places

  23. Armchair Ontology

  24. Armchair Ontology • artefacts and niches

  25. Positive and negative parts negative part or hole (not made of matter) positive part (made of matter)

  26. Formal Ontology • atomism vs. holism • set theory • mereology

  27. Accidents Environments a Neglected Major Category • Substances • Qualities • Processes • Environments

  28. environmentplacenichehabitatsettingholespatial regioninterior

  29. Applications of these concepts • in biology, ecology • in anthropology • in law • in politics • in medicine • in embryology

  30. Ecological Niche Concepts • niche as particular place or subdivision of an environment that an organism or population occupies • vs. • niche as function of an organism or population within an ecological community

  31. Elton • the ‘niche’ of an animal means • its place in the biotic environment, its relations to food and enemies. [...] • When an ecologist says ‘there goes a badger’ he should include in his thoughts some definite idea of the animal’s place in the community to which it belongs, • just as if he had said ‘there goes the vicar’ (Elton 1927, pp. 63f.)

  32. The Niche as Hypervolume foliage density humidity temperature

  33. The Niche as Hypervolume foliage density humidity temperature

  34. The Niche as Hypervolume foliage density humidity temperature

  35. The Niche as Hypervolume foliage density humidity temperature

  36. Hypervolume niche is a location in an attribute space • defined by a specific constellation of environmental variables such as degree of slope, exposure to sunlight, soil fertility, foliage density... • … John found his niche as a mid-level accounts manager in a small-town bank …

  37. But every hypervolume niche must be realized in some specific spatial location • Niche type must be tokenized in space

  38. J. J. Gibson’s Ecological Psychology • The terrestrial environment is [best] described in terms of a medium, substances, and the surfaces that separate them. (Gibson 1979, p. 16)

  39. Affordances • J. J. Gibson has provided a valuable account of the perceived world, which he presented as a prelude to his accounts of human visual perception • A key part of his account is the concept of affordances

  40. Affordances • “The affordances of the environment are what it offers the animal, what it provides or furnishes, either for good or evil.” • James J. Gibson, The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception

  41. Affordances • “The verb to afford is found in the dictionary, but affordance is not. I have made it up.” • “I mean by it something that refers both to the animal and the environment in a way that no existing term does.” (p. 127)

  42. Gibson’s theory of surface layout • ‘a sort of applied geometry that is appropriate for the study of perception and behavior’ (1979, p. 33) • ground, open environment, enclosure, detached object, attached object, hollow object, place, sheet, fissure, stick, fiber, dihedral, etc.

  43. Gibson’s theory of surface layout • systems of barriers, doors, pathways to which the behavior of human beings is specifically attuned, • temperature gradients, patterns of movement of air or water molecules

  44. positive and negative features of the environment • (Casati-Varzi theory of holes)

  45. Monadology • Monadological Niche-Concepts • (niche as small world)

  46. Uexküll • Cf. the ‘first principle’ of Jakob von Uexküll’s Umweltlehre: • all animals, from the simplest to the most complex, are fitted into their unique worlds with equal completeness. • A simple world corresponds to a simple animal, a well-articulated world to a complex one (p. 10).

  47. Uexküll • Theoretical Biology (1928, p. 2): “All reality is subjective appearance -- this must serve as the fundamental insight of biology, too.”

  48. Uexküll • I am afraid that if I publicly proclaim this perspective, that they will treat me à la Galileo, • and either lock me up in a madhouse or else ridicule me as an arch-reactionary.

  49. Uexküll • However I must just once say my piece. Perhaps no one will understand me. • Nevertheless, it remains a fact: ‘Epur non si move.’ • I do not move around the sun, but rather the sun rises and sets in my arch of the sky. • It is always another sun, always a new space in which it moves.