The Variable Size of Events
This chapter describes the structure of core events. Core events are discrete perceptual units carved out of the continuous flow of happenings in the real world. A core event consists of two optional subevents related by direct causation: a temporally extended, unbounded process, and a culmination, or instant of change. Neither discrete events nor direct causal relations are inherent in the happenings the chapter perceives. Instead, they arise through a pragmatic process of coarse-graining. This chapter also introduces Fodor's Generalization, that a single verb phrase describes a single event. This gives a heuristic linguistic test for when two subevents can form a macroevent: if two subevents related by a relation R can be described by a single verb phrase, then that relation must be sufficient for those two subevents to form a single macroevent. Such relations are called contingent relations.
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