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

Technical notes on a theory of simplicity

  • Brian M. Scott


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.


Small Subset Technical Difficulty Order Relation Satisfactory Manner Internal Homogeneity 
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  3. Goodman, N.: 1977, The Structure of Appearance, 3rd edition, D. Reidel, Boston.Google Scholar
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  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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