Durkheim and Mauss revisited: classification and the sociology of knowledge

D. Bloor
If the assimilation of commonsense judgements of similarity and scientific theorizing seems suspect, it is worth stressing that the same inductive propensities are at work in both. To bring out the common principles, it may help to remember (i) that all judgements of similarity depend on ignoring detectable differences, although this may be more selfconscious in using scientific models; and (ii) even our primitive sense of similarity is responsive to the structure of relations between stimuli as well as their absolute values. For example, the Gestalt psychologists have always stressed that even animals can be trained to respond to the lighter of a pair of stimuli.
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Studies in History and Philosophy of Science. Part A. – 1982. – Vol. 13, № 4. – P. 267–297.
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