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date: 28 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Relations of similarity and difference among perceptual stimuli are often conceived as delineating an abstract geometrical space in which distance represents degree of similarity on a given dimension (colour, pitch, stability, etc.). Representation of perceptual values in a similarity space enables perceivers to remember and hence recognize them, and also to associate them with useful non-perceptual information. This chapter reviews a number of models of similarity spaces for colour and pitch, and then proposes a new way of specifying identity conditions for determinate perceptual values, e.g. shades of colour. Philosophers have standardly assumed that identity conditions for shades must be given in terms of a relation of indiscriminability; but indiscriminability is (supposedly) nontransitive, and so the notion of a determinate shade has seemed incoherent. The chapter proposes that identity conditions for shades can be provided instead in terms of classificatory, rather than merely discriminatory, sameness and difference.

Keywords: colour, pitch, memory, indiscriminability, classification, nontransitivity

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