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Synthese

, Volume 109, Issue 2, pp 281–289 | Cite as

Technical notes on a theory of simplicity

  • Brian M. Scott
Article
  • 38 Downloads

Abstract

Recently Samuel Richmond, generalizing Nelson Goodman, has proposed a measure of the simplicity of a theory that takes into account not only the polymorphicity of its models but also their internal homogeneity. By this measure a theory is simple if small subsets of its models exhibit only a few distinct (i.e., non-isomorphic) structures. Richmond shows that his measure, unlike that given by Goodman's theory of simplicity of predicates, orders the order relations in an intuitively satisfactory manner. In this note I formalize his presentation and suggest an improvement designed to overcome certain technical difficulties.

Keywords

Small Subset Technical Difficulty Order Relation Satisfactory Manner Internal Homogeneity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

  1. Chang, C. C., and Keisler, H. J.: 1973, Model Theory, American Elsevier Publishing Company, Inc., NY.Google Scholar
  2. Goodman, N.: 1961, ‘Safety, Strength, and Simplicity’, Philosophy of Science 28, 150–1. Reprinted in 1972, Problems and Projects, pp. 334–336.Google Scholar
  3. Goodman, N.: 1977, The Structure of Appearance, 3rd edition, D. Reidel, Boston.Google Scholar
  4. Goodman, N.: 1983, Fact, Finction, and Forecast, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  5. Harary, F.: 1969, Graph Theory, Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., Reading, MA.Google Scholar
  6. Richmond, Samuel A.: 1996, ‘A Simplification of the Theory of Simplicity’, Synthese 107, 373–393.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian M. Scott
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MathematicsCleveland State UniversityCleveland

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