- This pseudo-Paper is intended as the mechanism to record time spent on the Note 'Similarity1' during my Thesis research, as from 2011.
- For the actual time recorded, click on "Paper Statistics" above.
Write-up2 (as at 31/05/2020 23:55:41): Similarity
- The logic of similarity, like the logic of identity4, is a prerequisite for understanding continuity5 and change6.
- It is important to distinguish identity from exact similarity, as in the case of "identical" twins" which are not identical in the strict logical sense.
- Just thinking off the top of my head:-
- “Exact Similarity” is an equivalence relation7 in that it is reflexive, symmetric and transitive.
- “Similarity” is less obviously an equivalence relation – however it is defined – because the transitivity relation may be deemed to fail.
- “Identical twins” – despite the suggestion above – are not even “exactly similar” in the strict sense, as it’s only genetically that they are exactly similar. In principle, each set of chromosomes in either twin is exactly similar to any other. And, I suppose, we could say that as their genomes are abstract objects, they are numerically identical. But the bodies and minds of identical twins – while “similar”, barring accidents, are not “exactly similar”, other than immediately after birth (and then only if we’re lucky).
- “Exactly similar” individuals would seem to have all non-relational properties in common. To make the term useful in practical life, we might have to allow some latitude. If I want my television replaced by an “exactly similar” one, I want one that’s how the one I bought ought to have been without whatever defects are inducing me to return it. Nor may I care for trivial differences in weight, surface marks and the like.
- “Similarity” applies to particular properties of things (“wearing similar ties”) or to individuals in their entirety (as “identical twins”).
- For a Page of Links8 to this Note, Click here. A huge list, so no possibility of an updating run, but very useful to cherry-pick from.
- Works on this topic that I’ve actually read9, include10 the following:-
- "Hirsch (Eli) - A Sense of Unity", Hirsch
- "Hirsch (Eli) - Natural Kinds and Natural Units", Hirsch
- "Kagan (Shelly) - What matters (continued); The nature of death, Part I", Kagan
- "Olson (Eric) - The Human Animal: Introduction", Olson
- "Parfit (Derek) - What We Believe Ourselves To Be", Parfit
- "Shoemaker (David) - Personal Identity and Immortality", Shoemaker
- "Suchow (Jordan) - Haven’t we met before? On doppelgängers and perception", Suchow
- A further reading list might start with:-
- "Brennan (Andrew) - Similarity and Affordance", Brennan
- "Deutsch (Harry) - Identity and General Similarity", Deutsch
- "Fodor (Jerry) - Similarity", Fodor
- "Gratton-Guiness (I.) - Structural Similarity or Structuralism? Comments on Priest's Analysis of the Paradoxes of Self-Reference", Gratton-Guiness
- "Heil (John) - Imperfect Similarity", Heil
- "Hirsch (Eli) - Projectibility and Strange Languages", Hirsch
- "Hirsch (Eli) - Similarity and Natural Properties", Hirsch
- "Koslicki (Kathrin) - Constitution and Similarity", Koslicki
- "Martin (C.B.) - Identity and Exact Similarity", Martin
- "Maurin (Anna-Sofia) - Same But Different", Maurin
- "Morreau (Michael) - It Simply Does Not Add Up: Trouble With Overall Similarity", Morreau
- "Shoemaker (Sydney) - Phenomenal Similarity", Shoemaker
- "Taylor (Barry) - Transworld Similarity and Transworld Belief", Taylor
- "Vander Laan (David) - Counterpossibles and Similarity", Vander Laan
- This is mostly a place-holder11.
Footnote 7: Footnote 10:
- This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (31/05/2020 23:55:41).
- Link to Latest Write-Up Note.
- Most of these references touch on the topic of Similarity somewhat tangentially.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020