Studies 8

Spatial Thinking and External Representation

Towards a Historical Epistemology of Space
Results of the TOPOI working group on the historical epistemology of space

Results of the TOPOI working group on the historical epistemology of space

This publication is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Germany (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 DE) Licence.

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ISBN

978-3-945561-08-9

Pages

219

Publication Date

Nov. 11, 2016

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Vincenzo de Risi

Spatial knowledge takes different forms in different societies and at different times in history depending on the spatial experiences accounted for and the available means for the external representation of knowledge. The volume presents and analyses manifestations of spatial thinking in the language and practices of recent non-literate societies, in the administrative institutions of early civilizations, in discursive contexts of ancient Greece and China, in early modern natural philosophy and metaphysics, and in twentieth-century physics, and discusses their historical and structural relations.
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A

Abraham, Max

absolute

directions
forces
impenetrability
lack of extension
motion
space
standard of rest

accommodation

action at a distance

additivity of lengths

Akkadian

al-Bitruji

Alexandria, Museion of

Alpetragius (al-Bitruji)

Amico, Giovan Battista

Anaximander

angle

anthropocentrism

anthropogenesis

Arab Middle Ages

Aristotelian cosmology and physics

Aristotelian-Ptolemaic cosmology

Aristotelianism

Aristotle

his distinction of three speculative disciplines
his theory of change
‘Categories’
‘De caelo’
‘Metaphysics’
‘Physics’

assimilation

astrophysics

Athapaskan

atomism

Averroes (Ibn Rushd)

B

Bellarmin, Robert

Benedetti, Giovan Battista

Boas, Franz

Bruno, Giordano

C

causal explanation

China

Clarke, Samuel

cognitive mapping

compass

and straight edge
magnetic

conatus

conservation

of energy and momentum
of quantity of matter
of size and shape

container model of space

continuity of object trajectories

conventionalism

coordinates

geographical
linguistic
their role in field theory
their role in quantum mechanics

Copernican

revolution
system
tables

Copernicus, Nicolaus

‘De revolutionibus’

cosmological constant

cosmology

Chinese
Greek
Plato’s
as a theory of the world as a whole
classical
its relation to physics
modern
of the Pythagoreans
quantum

D

dead reckoning

Democritus

Dene Chipewyan (Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada)

dependency of the effort on the path taken

Descartes, René

‘Principles of Philosophy’
‘The World’

detour

diagrams

dichotomy of movable and unmovable objects

dichotomy of object and space

disciplinary structure of knowledge

distance

Euclidean
between stars (angular)
in Dene Chipewyan
in Eipo
in Hopi

division

arithmetic
of labor
of land
physical

drawing

Duhem, Pierre

E

Egypt

Einstein field equation

Einstein, Albert

Eipo (central highlands of West New Guinea)

electrodynamics

electromagnetic

field
radiation
worldview

equation of motion in the inertio-gravitational field

equivalence principle

ether

Euclid

‘Elements’
‘Phaenomena’

Euclidean

space

Euler, Leonhard

evolutionary epistemology

Ewe, south-eastern Ghana

F

field

concept
equation

field theory

of gravitation

figure-ground asymmetry

Fizeau, Hippolyte (experiment measuring the index of refraction in moving media)

Fracastoro, Girolamo

frames of reference

free fall

Fresnel coefficient

Fresnel, Augustin

G

Galilean transformations

Galilei, Galileo

‘Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo’

Galileo affair

Gauss, Carl Friedrich

general relativity

genetic epistemology

geographical knowledge

geometry

Babylonian
Euclidean
differential
dynamic
non-Euclidean
pseudo-Euclidean

Gipper, Helmut

gnomon

gravitation

law of
theory of

gravitational

center
force
waves

Greece

Grosseteste, Robert

H

habitus

Heaviside, Oliver

Hertz, Heinrich

Hilbert space

Hipparchus of Nicaea

homogeneity of space

Hopi (Arizona, USA)

house building, Eipo

I

Ibn Rushd

impetus

India

inertia

law of

inertial system

inertio-gravitational field

infinity of space

institutions

isotropy of space

K

Kant, Immanuel

‘Critique of Pure Reason’
‘Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science’

Kuhn, Thomas

L

landmarks

language

formalized
technical

Latin Middle Ages

Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm

Leibniz-Clarke correspondence

Leibnizian

mechanics

Leucippus

light

and electromagnetism
as a means of measuring space
bending
propagation, universal law of
rays
speed of
wave theory of

logic

logical positivism

Lorentz transformations

Lorentz, Hendrik Antoon

Lucretius

M

Mach, Ernst

Malotki, Ekkehart

maps (geographic)

Maxwell-Lorentz theory

Maxwell’s equations

measurement

in Eipo culture
in quantum mechanics
of fields

measuring rods

mechanics

Euler’s
Hertz’s
Leibnizian
analytical
celestial
classical

mental model

of large-scale space
of object

Mesoamerica

Mesopotamia

metaphysics

metric tensor

Michelson-Morley experiment

microscope

Minkowski

formalism
spacetime

Minkowski, Hermann

‘Mohist Canon’

mythology

N

nativism

Navajo (south-western USA)

navigation

Micronesian
deep-sea
radio

Neolithic

Neoplatonism

Newton, Isaac

his atomism
his axioms
his bucket experiment
his concept of space
‘De gravitatione …’
‘Opticks’
‘Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica’

Newton-Cartan theory

Newtonian

dynamics
gravitation
physics
spacetime

Nordström, Gunnar

nothing

O

ontogenesis

Oresme, Nicole

Osiander, Andreas

P

Paleolithic

Parmenides

path-connectedness of space

perceptional space

perihelion motion

permanent object, schema or model of

perspective

Philoponus, John

phylogenesis

Piaget, Jean

place

Aristotle’s concept of natural place
definiteness and exclusivity of
geographical
in Dene Chipewyan
in Eipo
in the ‘Mohist Canon’
philosophical concept of
sacred

planetary motion

Plato

‘Timaeus’

Platonism

Poincaré, Henri

position-quality model of space

primates, nonhuman

projectile motion

proportionality of force and acceleration

Ptolemaic cosmology

Ptolemy, Claudius

‘Almagest’

Pythagoreanism

Q

quantum

electrodynamics
field theory
gravity
mechanics

R

reflective abstraction

reflexivity, degree of

Reinhold, Erasmus

relativism, linguistic

relativity

of motion
principle

representational space

Rheticus, Georg Joachim

‘Narratio prima’

Riemann, Bernhard

Riemannian space

rigid body

Roman surveyors (agrimensores)

S

Sapir, Edward

Sapir-Whorf hypothesis

sensorimotor behavior and intelligence

sexagesimal positional system of numerical notation

shared knowledge

short cut

Simplicius

Slavey (Great Slave Lake, Canada)

Snell’s law

social cognition

South-America

special relativity

spherical cosmos

sphericity of the Earth

stellar aberration

Sumerian

surveying

surveyors’ formula

symbol

systems
use

symbolic

function
notation
representation

T

three-dimensionality of space

topological

relations

toponyms

U

universality of gravitation

universals of cognition

V

vertical direction

void

W

Whorf, Benjamin Lee

wind directions

writing

Z

Zeno of Elea