Paradox: objective meaninglessness of concept of similarity?
February 1, 2012 1:58 AM Subscribe
Has anyone heard of the mathematical "proof" that the concept of similarity is objectively meaningless?
posted by rwhe to religion & philosophy (8 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
A couple of years ago, if I recall correctly, some mathematicians or philosophers showed that because real-world objects have an infinity of properties, you could cherry-pick as many properties as you wanted to counterintuitively "prove" that, for example, an orange is more similar to a roll of aluminum foil than to an orange segment. (For example, both the orange and the aluminum foil roll are round and weigh more than an ounce, properties the orange segment doesn't share.)
Can anyone point me to an article about the proof or "proof" of the meaninglessness of similarity, with the names of the originators of the concept? Thanks.