Similarity and Continuous Quality Distributions

The Monist 79 (1):76--88 (1996)
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In the philosophy of the analytical tradition, set theory and formal logic are familiar formal tools. I think there is no deep reason why the philosopher’s tool kit should be restricted to just these theories. It might well be the case—to generalize a dictum of Suppes concerning philosophy of science—that the appropriate formal device for doing philosophy is mathematics in general; it may be set theory, algebra, topology, or any other realm of mathematics. In this paper I want to employ elementary topological considerations to shed new light on the intricate problem of the relation of qualities and similarity. Thereby I want to make plausible the general thesis that topology might be a useful device for matters epistemological.
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