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Holes


Kristie Miller


Pages 253 - 255



What is a hole? The answer to that question has spawned remarkably different answers, and yet those answers have something in common: they all appeal to mereology. The first systematic attempt to think about holes began with the Lewises (Lewis and Lewis 1970). Their account was a revisionary one, according to which much of what we say about holes turns out to false, because holes are not located where we think they are, nor do they have the dimensions we tend to attribute to them. On their view, holes are to be identified with what they call hole-linings: the relevant part of the surface of an object that we would normally say ‘lines’ the hole. To have a hole is nothing more than to have a surface with a particular topology, and since the surface of an object is, for Lewis and Lewis, a proper part of the object, holes are proper parts of objects.




1Department of Philosophy, University of Sydney



1 Balashov, Y., (1999), “Zero-Value Physical Quantities”, Synthese 119(3): 253-286.

2 Casati, R.; Varzi, A. C, (1994), Holes and Other Superficialities, Cambridge (MA): MIT Press.

3 Casati, R.; Varzi, A. C., (2004), “Counting the Holes”, Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82(1): 23-27.

4 Hoffman, D.; Richards, W., A., (1984), “Parts of Recognition”, Cognition 18: 65-69.

5 Jackson, F., (1977), Perception: A Representative Theory, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

6 Lewis, D., K.; Lewis, S., (1970), “Holes”, Australasian Journal of Philosophy 48: 206-212.

7 Miller, K., (2007), “Immaterial Beings”, The Monist 90(3): 349-71.

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