How Near is Near?
This paper presents a system for understanding the concept of near and far, weighing such factors as purpose of the judgement, dimensions of the objects, absolute size of the distance, and size of the distance relative to other objects, ranges, and standards. A further section discusses the meaning of phrases such as very near, much nearer than, and as near as. Although we will speak of near as a judgement about physical distance, most of the ideas developed will be applicable to any continuous measurable parameter, such as size or time. An adaptation for rows (discrete spaces) is made as well.