Eventism and pointism

Zdzisław Augustynek

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12775/LLP.1993.005


The domain of contemporary physics consists of two different classes of objects: a) physical objects — point events (shortly — events), elementary particles (and their aggregates), and fields; b) spatio-temporal objects — space-time points (shortly — points), moments, space points, and their corresponding sets: space-time, time and physical space.

If objects of some kind (physical or spatio-temporal) are treated as individuals, i.e. nonsets, then it is possible to define the remaining kinds of objects from both above-mentioned classes. In this way one can construct two alternative monistic ontologies of physics: eventism founded on events, and pointism founded on points. It is also possible to establish a dualistic ontology of physics, based both on events and points treated as individuals.

 In this paper these three ontologies are presented with particular emphasis on some extreme versions of monistic ontologies. I shall compare them considering both their respective advantages and difficulties and trying to justify my own choice of eventistic ontology.

Full Text:



Z. Augustynek, Point-Eventism. Appendix, in: Time: Past, Present, Future, Dordrecht/Warszawa, Kluwer and PWN, 1991.

Z. Augustynek, Czasoprzestrzeń a świat fizyczny (Space-Time and the Physical World), Kwartalnik Filozoficzny, T. XX, Z. 4, 1992, p. 65–81.

R. Carnap, Abriss der Logistik, Wien, Springer, 1929.

R. Carnap, Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology, in: R. Carnap, Meaning and Necessity, Chicago, 1947.

J. Earman, Some Aspects of General Relativity and Geometrodynamics, J. of Phil., vol. 69, 1972, p. 634–647.

H. Field, Science without Numbers, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1980.

C. Misner, K. Thorne and J. A. Wheeler, Gravitation, San Francisco, Freeman, 1972.

J. A. Wheeler, Curved Empty Space-Time as the Building Material of the Physical World, in: Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science, (E. Nagel, P. Suppes and A. Tarski eds.), Stanford University Press, 1962.

ISSN: 1425-3305 (print version)

ISSN: 2300-9802 (electronic version)

Partnerzy platformy czasopism