David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Erkenntnis 54 (1):121-131 (2001)
The method of Quasi-Analysis used by Carnap in his program of theconstitution of concepts from finite observations has the following twogoals: (1) Given unsharp observations in terms of similarity relations thetrue properties of the observed objects shall be obtained by a suitablelogical construction. (2) From a single relation on a finite domain,different dimensions of qualities shall be reconstructed and identified. Inthis article I show that with a slight modification Quasi-Analysis iscapable of fulfilling the first goal for a single observable dimension. Weobtain a partition of the so-called Quality Classes representing thepairwise disjoint and exhaustive extensions associated to the ``values'''' ofthe observable. On the other hand, an example demonstrates that the methodfails, as Goodman has pointed out, for a relation expressing similarity withregard to at least one out of many properties.Since it seems to be impossible in general to reconstruct more-dimensionalqualities from a single similarity relation, the constitution of at least asmany similarity relations as there are qualities have to be presumed. Thenit is possible to state adequate sufficient conditions for the dimension ofthe observable space, even if some of the similarity relations might dependon others. The concept of topological dimension cannot be used for thispurpose on finite sets of observations. We replace it by a set-algebraicalcondition on the Quality Classes.
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