- What is the real definition of a mountain? Sure, we all know one when we see one - or do we? Go ahead - try and define this concept in a rigourous way...
- There is a long-standing schism between between feature-based and field-based views of natural phenomena. Both are useful, in different contexts. (This seems to me to echo the particle-wave duality of quantum mechanics - is there possibly some sort of fundamental dichotomy going on here?)
- Every so often this kind of debate surfaces in the geospatial world (a recent example is this thread on the GeoWeb blog). But we are as babes in the wood compared to philosophers, who have been debating this topic for at least 2000 years. Fortunately, it looks like the kindergarten of computer science is beginning to engage in a useful dialogue with the fusty temples of philosophy.
Wednesday, 18 July 2007
Do mountains exist?
I came across this provocatively-titled paper while web-surfing looking for information on ontology. It's a fun read, if you're into that kind of stuff. I don't think the paper really tackles its proposed thesis in a head-on way, but it does raise some interesting points about the philosophy of geospatial data, such as: