more from Chris Swoyer

Single Idea 10409

[catalogued under 18. Thought / D. Concepts / 4. Structure of Concepts / e. Concepts from exemplars]

Full Idea

Recent empirical work on concepts says that many concepts have graded membership, and stress the importance of phenomena like typicality, prototypes, and exemplars.

Gist of Idea

Research suggests that concepts rely on typical examples


Chris Swoyer (Properties [2000], 4.2)

Book Reference

'Stanford Online Encyclopaedia of Philosophy', ed/tr. Stanford University [], p.25

A Reaction

[He cites Rorsch 1978 as the start of this] I say the mind is a database, exactly corresponding to tables, fields etc. Prototypes sound good as the way we identify a given category. Universals are the 'typical' examples labelling areas (e.g. goat).