Space—Relational or Absolute?

Ian Hinckfuss

in The Existence of Space and Time

Published in print March 1975 | ISBN: 9780198245193
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680854 | DOI:
Space—Relational or Absolute?

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This chapter first elaborates the terminology of space. It also considers relational and absolute theories of space. Some relational theories of space treat the logic of ‘space’ much as one treats the logic of ‘friendship’, at least in the following respect. To say that ‘friendship’ exists is just to say that someone is a friend of someone else. To say that space exists is just to say that something is apart, or at a distance from, something else. The chapter then covers the distinctions between four different kinds of reduction. ‘Reduction’, in the sense used by philosophers, is a technical word, yet one whose usage is not cut and dried. It is used to describe the replacement of one manner of speech by another, such that the new manner of speech does not use some word, term, or expression that the original one did.

Keywords: space; relational theories; absolute theories; friendship; reduction

Chapter.  4650 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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