Place and Matter

  • Richard Swinburne


AT every instant of time every material object which exists at that instant occupies some place, and wherever any material object is or, it is logically possible, could be, is a place. A place in the literal sense is wherever a material object is, or, it is logically possible, could be. Hence places have some volume.1 Let us call the place of an object, described as precisely as is logically possible by specifying its boundaries, the primary place of the object. The primary place of a material object will in consequence be the volume enclosed by a surface which fitted snugly round the material object, completely enclosing it.2 If my shaving-soap stick fits snugly into my shaving-soap case, the most precise description which can be given of where my shaving-soap stick is is that it is in my shaving-soap case. When an object which has a place is not the kind of object which can be enclosed by a snugly fitting surface (for examples see pp. 18 ff.) then other considerations are relevant to determining the most precise description which can be given of where it is and so its primary place.


Physical Object Spatial Relation Material Object Temporal Instant Primary Quality 
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Copyright information

© Richard Swinburne 1968

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Swinburne
    • 1
  1. 1.University of HullUK

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