Whose mangled logic?

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Abstract

Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1994, Vol 39(1), 101–102. Roger Schvaneveldt, Nancy Cooke, Don Dearholt, Francis T. Dorso, and James McDonald rejoins the reply of Phipps Arabie (see record 2006-06480-094) to Schvaneveldt et al's comments (see record 2006-06480-093) on Arabie's review (see record 2006-06468-043) of the book, Pathfinder Associative Networks: Studies in Knowledge Organization edited by Schvaneveldt (1990). The authors contend that if Arabie is to be the arbiter of logic, we are all in trouble. He harps on definitional and notational issues. These are not matters of logic. If Arabie has his way, we must adhere to definitions and conventions that conform to his parochial view. He is astoundingly insistent on his preferred definition of distance which requires symmetry, but if he would just take a look at some work in graph theory, he would discover that the term distance is used to refer to the non-symmetrical distances between nodes that may occur in directed graphs or networks. Similarly, we wonder whether he is deeply disturbed by the common practice in mathematics and statistics of using the same variables and indices to refer to distinct entities in different contexts. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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