Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Similarity: Similarity is the conformity of one or more - but not all - properties of two or more objects. See also Identity, Equality, Properties, Predicates, Predication, Identification, Descriptions.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Stephen Jay Gould on Similarity - Dictionary of Arguments

I 43
Similarity/Evolution/Gould: geometry: triangles, parallelograms and hexagons are the only flat figures that can completely fill the room. The logarithmic spiral is the only curve that does not change its shape as it grows.
Gould: this is how similarities in independent developments can be explained with a small number of possible solutions.
I 257
Similarity/Gould: similarity is empirically not mysterious, but in terms of its causes it is anything but clear:
I 258
Definition homologous similarity in common precursors: two organisms may have the same feature because they got it from a common ancestor. (This is Darwin's word for "close relatives".) Example: Homology: the front limbs of humans, horses, guinea pigs and bats, are inherited from a common precursor.
Definition analogue similarity: analogue similarity means that there is no common precursors but two organisms have a common feature that represents the result of a separate but similar evolutionary change in independent lines of development. It is the spectre of genealogists, because it confuses our naïve notion that what is similar must have similar causes. For example, the wings of birds, bats and butterflies. These have no common precursor, two of them had wings!
I 259
We know in the broadest sense how homologies are determined, because analogies have their limits: they can produce striking external and functional similarities, but they cannot change thousands of complex and independent parts in the same way. At a certain level of complexity, similarities must be homologous.
In addition, genetic changes often have far-reaching effects on the external appearance of adult organisms.
Therefore, a similarity that looks too scary and too complex to occur more than once can actually be a simple and repeatable change.
Important: we do not compare the correct organisms with each other, but only their descendants! How can we recognize their original structure?
- - -
Gould IV 174
Similarity/Darwin: "Our classification encompasses more than mere similarity relationships, this "more" is an ancestral relationship. It is the cause of order in nature.(1)
, >Explanation, >Darwinism.

1. Ch. Darwin. (1859): On the origin of species by means of natural selection. London: John Murray.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Gould I
Stephen Jay Gould
The Panda’s Thumb. More Reflections in Natural History, New York 1980
German Edition:
Der Daumen des Panda Frankfurt 2009

Gould II
Stephen Jay Gould
Hen’s Teeth and Horse’s Toes. Further Reflections in Natural History, New York 1983
German Edition:
Wie das Zebra zu seinen Streifen kommt Frankfurt 1991

Gould III
Stephen Jay Gould
Full House. The Spread of Excellence from Plato to Darwin, New York 1996
German Edition:
Illusion Fortschritt Frankfurt 2004

Gould IV
Stephen Jay Gould
The Flamingo’s Smile. Reflections in Natural History, New York 1985
German Edition:
Das Lächeln des Flamingos Basel 1989

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