Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Carving Nature at Its JointsNatural Kinds in Metaphysics and Science$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke, and Matthew H. Slater

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262015936

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262015936.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 02 March 2021

Boundaries, Conventions, and Realism

Boundaries, Conventions, and Realism

Chapter:
(p.129) 7 Boundaries, Conventions, and Realism
Source:
Carving Nature at Its Joints
Author(s):

Achille C. Varzi

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262015936.003.0007

This chapter discusses the important distinction between artificial boundaries and natural boundaries. Artificial boundaries, such as national and state borders, are defined as boundaries that are products of human decisions and stipulations, an expression of collective intentionality that translates into political, social, and legal agreements whereby it is determined where a certain territory begins and where it ends. Such artificial boundaries may be drawn with great accuracy or left vague or underspecified; it all depends on the importance we attribute to the relevant demarcations and on the role they play in our lives. Natural boundaries, such as geographic boundaries, are by contrast characterized by their independence from human organizing activity; they are boundaries that exist on their own. Their existence cannot be ignored like in the case of artificial boundaries, the existence or non-existence of which is the subject of controversy.

Keywords:   artificial boundaries, natural boundaries, human decisions, collective intentionality, human organizing activity

MIT Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.