Jeffrey, H.J. / Published 2010 / Article
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Citation: Jeffrey, H.J. (2010). Structure. In K. E. Davis, F. Lubuguin, & W. Schwartz (Eds.), Advances in Descriptive Psychology: Vol.9. (pp. 361-3407). Ann Arbor, MI: Descriptive Psychology Press.
Abstract: The concept of structure, and the related ones of structural complexity and similarity, are ubiquitous in the sciences, arts, and literature. While they are used routinely and to good effect to gain insight into a very wide range of phenomena, they have never been rigorously defined. Beginning with a unification of Ossorio’s Process, Object, Event, and State of Affairs Units into a single formal Aspect Specification, this article presents a mathematical definition of structure and structural similarity applicable to any aspect of the world—object, process, event, or state of affairs—and a mathematical quantification of structural similarity equally widely applicable. Intentional and deliberate action and communities, core concepts of Descriptive Psychology, are formalized with Aspect Specifications, and Aspect Specifications of actual objects and processes are given. Examples illustrating the calculation of the structural similarity of disparate kinds of things in the world, ranging from human families to intra-cellular organelles, are given.