What are comparison methods

Below is a definition of the comparison method, then several older definitions and finally some links to definitions.

The properties that are common to all comparisons are named by a definition of the term> comparison <. [1] A short and concise definition comes from Brunswig: "To compare two objects means: to look at them carefully ... with special regard to their mutual relationship." [2] From Brunswig's definition we can derive the most important properties:

  1. A comparison requires that at least two objects are given, because otherwise it is not possible to recognize a relationship (this means to recognize equality or inequality).
  2. A comparison is not possible without a subject who compares. You can justify it like this: There is a comparative one subjectbecause "subject" and "object" are relative concepts. (What are relative terms? An example:> Father Child
  3. The result of a comparison is the recognition of a relationship; this relationship is either one equality or inequality.[3]
  4. A fourth property of comparisons is often overlooked: equality and inequality are always in one certain respect recognized. Brunswig was one of the few who did not overlook this aspect. He writes that objects are compared "carefully ... with special regard". However, Brunswigs failed to investigate what a point actually is.

Based on Brunswig's definition, the term> comparison

A comparison is an activity through which a subject recognizes at least two objects as equal or unequal in at least one respect.

Example 1. (see below): Phil recognizes apple and pear as being the same in terms of width.

Example 2: Phil recognizes apple and pear as unequal in terms of height.

Four elements are required for a comparison: subject, object, relation (equality and inequality are relations) and respect. There are a number of other definitions of the comparison / method of comparison which will now be presented. The main criticism of these definitions below is that they fail to take into account one or more of the four elements.

Some Definitions of the Comparison Method I. Eisler

The following article is taken from: Rudolf Eisler: Dictionary of basic philosophical terms (1904). In: Digital Library Volume 3: History of Philosophy, p. 16023. For a better overview, each definition has its own section. I have included a brief review of these definitions in square brackets.

(BEGINNING OF ARTICLE) “Comparison is the finding, determination of similarities and differences through apperception (see d.) of two contents. It is an original function of attention, is expressed in a judgment, is conditioned by feelings. On the basis of an identical reaction of the self to the stimuli (see d.), Thinking sets impressions, contents as "equal", "similar" or as "unequal", "different" (see distinction). The act of comparison is a basic requirement for both the classification of qualities and for quantitative measurement. it is a source of categories (s. d.). See abstraction, concept, judgment.

BONET defines: »Comparer différentes sensations, c’est thunder son attention à differentes sensations.Mais l’attention est un exercice de la force motrice de l’âme et cet exercice est une modification de son activité. Comparer, c’est donc mouvoir, et mouvoir, c’est agir ”(Ess. Analyt. XVII, 361).

LAROMIGUIÈRE (Leçons de philos.) Also traces back the comparison and relation to attention.

According to H. S. REIMARUS, comparing is “nothing other than trying to establish whether and how far things are indifferent to one another or not. and if they are not the same, whether and how far they contradict each other or not ”(doctrine of reason, § 12).

According to FRIES, comparison is "the awareness of the relationship between several ideas" (Syst. D. Log. P. 92). The most general "concepts of comparison" are based on conceptions of unity (1st c. P. 99).

According to CALKER, comparison is "the simultaneous combination of several ideas and the perception of the similar and the same in them" (doctrine of thought, p. 270).

SUABEDISSEN determines: "The comparison is a multiplied creation, with the purpose of noticing what is the same in several things and what is different in them" (Grdz. D. Doctrine of d. Man. P. 114).

ULRICI remarks: "To compare two things means only to establish consciously in which relationships to distinguish, in which, on the other hand, are equal" (Log. P. 137).

According to HÖFFDING, comparing means "finding similarities or differences or both" (Practical Recognition, Quarterly Journal for Scientific Philos. 14th Vol., P. 194). [Criticism: In its definition, Höffding focuses on the result of a comparison. For him, this consists in the recognition of similarity or differences. Höffding does not know the differentiation between equality and inequality or between identity, similarity and contrast.]

According to SULLY, the comparison of two things is "a discovery by mentally illuminating them one after the other, whether they are similar or different from one another and in what relationships they are". The comparison is "the successive directing of attention to two (or more) perceptions or ideas in order to see in which relationship they stand" (Handb. D. Psychol. P. 236 f .. Hum. Mind ch. 11. cf. STOUT, Analyt. Psychol. II, ch. 9 f., p. 168 ff .. W. JAMES, Princ. of Psychol. I, 483 ff .. BRADLEY, On the analysis of Comparison, Mind XI, 1886, p. 83 ff .. RIBOT, L'évolut. des idées général., etc.). [Criticism: Sully's definition briefly names the most essential properties of a comparison method: It is noteworthy that he defines comparison as “directing attention” to objects and thus recognizes the meaning of attention. To Sully, however, a comparison seems conceivable only as a successive directing of attention. He thus rules out a simultaneous, i.e. simultaneous, comparison. Sully names the minimum number of objects. For Sully, two objects are not the same or different, but similar or different. The differentiation between equality and inequality as well as between identity, similarity and opposition is also unknown to Sully.]

According to OSTWALD, comparison is the fundamental quality of the mind (Vorles. On Naturphilos.2, p. 17). [Criticism: Ostwald recognizes the importance of the comparison method. It does not define what a comparison is.]

According to WUNDT, the comparison is a »simple apperception function«. The relation (s. D.) Is combined with the comparison "as soon as the related contents of consciousness are clearly separate processes which at the same time belong to one and the same class of psychic experiences". “The relationship is therefore the broader term, the comparison the narrower term. A comparison is only possible if the compared contents are related to one another. On the other hand, contents of consciousness can be related to one another ... without being compared with one another «(Gr. D. Psychol. 5, p. 304). The comparison is made up of the function of agreement and that of distinction (see d.) (L. C. P. 305. see sensation, intensity, quality). Logically, comparison is the connection of the similar and the differentiation of the conflicting. There is individual and generic comparison. The comparative method consists in "that comparative observation, the collection of corresponding phenomena and the gradation of the inconsistent phenomena according to the degree of their difference is used to obtain general results" (Log. II, 280 ff.). [Review: Wilhelm Wundt first distinguishes the comparison from the relationship. When comparing, he differentiates between two functions: that of agreement and that of distinction. In order for the subject to be able to compare, it must have some skills. The two functions that Wundt names are the two sub-skills of the ability to synthesize: the ability to recognize equality and the ability to recognize inequality. Wundt does not go into other necessary skills, especially not the ability to pay attention. The number of objects remains indefinite. It goes unmentioned that a comparison is always made in one respect.]

AVENARIUS explains: »If two E values ​​(sd) meet together with the addition of the› expected ‹and› sought ‹› equality ‹, then› thinking ‹for its part assumes the specific modification of› comparing ‹« (Crit. D. Rein. Experience II, 99). Compare differentiation, similarity, equality, methods (psychophysical), recognition. ”[Criticism: Avenarius does not define what a comparison is. It does not determine the number of objects required, only mentions equality, not inequality and respect.] (END OF ARTICLE)

Some definition of the comparison method II. Links

The following links can be found on the Internet:


[1] To z. B. To be able to differentiate between house as a word, as a concept and as an object, I use quotation marks for the word (the word "house" is 1 cm long.), For the term arrows (the term "house" is something imaginary and has none Linear expansion), nothing for the property (this house is 10 m long); cf. Bochenski, J. M., Denkethods, 1993, p. 60. Cf. also Chapter 2. [2] Brunswig, A., Compare, 1910, p. 62. [3] Cf. in agreement Meinong, A., Relationstheorie, 1971, p. 73; Husserl, E., Arithmetik, 1970, p. 55; on the other hand, see Mill, J. St., System, 1981, pp. 70-72.