Fuzziness of concepts and concepts of fuzziness

Synthese 75 (3):349 - 372 (1988)
Abstract
It has been a vexing question in recent years whether concepts are fuzzy. In this paper several views on the fuzziness of concepts are pointed out to have stemmed from dubious concepts of fuzziness. The underlying notions of the roles feasibly played byprototype, set, andprobability in modeling concepts strongly suggest that the controversy originates from a vague relation between intuitive and mathematical ideas in the cognitive sciences. It is argued that the application of fuzzy sets cannot resolve this vagueness since they are one sided,viz., defined on sets. An alternative definition based on classes (in the sense of axiomatic set theory) is proposed.
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