Wednesday, March 23, 2016
There is no distinction without similarity.
Moreover, it seems that there even can't be a distinction without similarity. For it's impossible to distinguish any two objects without both of them being at least similar in the sense of being objects of consideration in the first place (or just objects, existent or not, for that matter)---that being their necessary condition (similarity) for comparability and hence distinction. This gives similarity a foundational character. The converse need not be true however, since in order to consider a single object as identical (maximally similar) to itself it doesn't seem obvious that one needs to resort to the consideration of it being distinct from anything else. The immediate corollary of this, if not a mere reformulation, is that there are no absolutely distinct (absolutely independent) things (there, the proof is in the formulation itself---things!). If this is true, then absolutely everything is similar in one way or another and as such admits to a similarity analysis. And there don't seem to be any paradoxes at the limits either, since even everything is similar to itself, as is nothing, for that matter. So the only questions to which much ontological inquiry reduces are "in what manner are things similar?" and "to what extent are they similar?"