David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Noûs 34 (4):483–516 (2000)
Wittgenstein emphasizes two points concerning his notion of family resemblance. One is that the use of a family resemblance expression resists characterization by certain kinds of rules; the other is that due to the prevalence of family resemblance in the philosophical lexicon, philosophical inquiry must in many cases proceed differently from how it traditionally has. This paper develops an interpretation of family resemblance that seeks to do justice to these claims. I argue that what is characteristic about family resemblance expressions is not that they exhibit a basic semantic feature unique to themselves, but that they combine a number of semantic properties that happen not to be coinstantiated elsewhere. These features include (1) content variability (also a property of ambiguous expressions, polysemes, and standard indexicals), (2) a feature I call "topicality" (which is also a characteristic of polysemes), and (3) "semantic openness" (a feature of many ordinary indexicals). The notions of topicality and semantic openness are explained, and certain terms of natural language are shown to be family resemblance expressions. I conclude by indicating some of the potential philosophical ramifications of these results
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
David C. Spewak Jr (2016). A Modulation Account of Negative Existentials. Philosophia 44 (1):227-245.
Jaap van Brakel & M. A. Lin (2015). Extension of Family Resemblance Concepts as a Necessary Condition of Interpretation Across Traditions. Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 14 (4):475-497.
Lin Ma & Jaap Brakel (2015). Revisiting Wittgenstein on Family Resemblance and Colour. Philosophical Investigations 39 (2):n/a-n/a.
Pawel Garbacz (2013). Artefacts and Family Resemblance. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (3):419-447.
Similar books and articles
Douglas Huff (1981). Family Resemblances and Rule-Governed Behavior. Philosophical Investigations 4 (3):1-23.
Eleanor Rosch & Carolyn B. Mervis (1975). Family Resemblances: Studies in the Internal Structure of Categories. Cognitive Psychology 7 (4):573--605.
Alexander Bird (2003). Resemblance Nominalism and Counterparts. Analysis 63 (3):221–228.
Neil Pickering (2013). Extending Disorder: Essentialism, Family Resemblance and Secondary Sense. [REVIEW] Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 16 (2):185-195.
Hanne Andersen (2000). Kuhn's Account of Family Resemblance: A Solution to the Problem of Wide-Open Texture. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 52 (3):313-337.
Gürol Irzık, Gurol Irzik & Robert Nola, A Family Resemblance Approach to the Nature of Science for Science Education.
Michael A. Simon (1969). When is a Resemblance a Family Resemblance? Mind 78 (311):408-416.
Hannes Leitgeb (2008). An Impossibility Result on Semantic Resemblance. Dialectica 62 (3):293-306.
Sunil Vadera, Andres Rodriguez, Enrique Succar & Jia Wu (2008). Using Wittgenstein's Family Resemblance Principle to Learn Exemplars. Foundations of Science 13 (1):67-74.
Hans Sluga (2006). Family Resemblance. Grazer Philosophische Studien 71 (1):1-21.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads31 ( #127,241 of 1,796,442 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #347,915 of 1,796,442 )
How can I increase my downloads?