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Summary Prototype and exemplar theories are both versions of statistical theories of concepts. These theories generally hold that concepts represent categories by means of some statistically important properties of their referents. Prototype theories hold that concepts represent categories by means of a summary of the typical properties that category members possess. Exemplar theories hold that concepts represent categories by means of a cluster of individual category members that may be used to extract the statistical central tendency of the category.
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  1. On the Prototype Theory of Concepts and the Definition of Art.Thomas Adajian - 2005 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 63 (3):231–236.
    It has been claimed that the prototype theory of concepts supports two controversial claims in the philosophy of art: that art cannot be defined, and that the possession of a certain sort of historical narrative is a sufficient but not necessary means of determining the art status of contested works. It is argued here that two sorts of considerations undermine the thesis that prototype theory offers significant support to anti-definitionism and historical narrativism. First, there is reason to think that prototype (...)
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  2. The Instability of Graded Structure: Implications for the Nature of Concepts.Lawrence Barsalou - 1987 - In U. Neisser (ed.), Concepts and Conceptual Development: Ecological and Intellectual Factors in Categorization. Cambridge University Press. pp. 101-140.
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  3. Normality: Part Descriptive, Part Prescriptive.Adam Bear & Joshua Knobe - 2017 - Cognition 167:25-37.
    People’s beliefs about normality play an important role in many aspects of cognition and life (e.g., causal cognition, linguistic semantics, cooperative behavior). But how do people determine what sorts of things are normal in the first place? Past research has studied both people’s representations of statistical norms (e.g., the average) and their representations of prescriptive norms (e.g., the ideal). Four studies suggest that people’s notion of normality incorporates both of these types of norms. In particular, people’s representations of what is (...)
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  4. Meaning, Prototypes and the Future of Cognitive Science.J. Brakel - 1991 - Minds and Machines 1 (3):233-257.
    In this paper I evaluate the soundness of the prototype paradigm, in particular its basic assumption that there are pan-human psychological essences or core meanings that refer to basic-level natural kinds, explaining why, on the whole, human communication and learning are successful. Instead I argue that there are no particular pan-human basic elements for thought, meaning and cognition, neither prototypes, nor otherwise. To illuminate my view I draw on examples from anthropology. More generally I argue that the prototype paradigm exemplifies (...)
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  5. Review of Christopher Gauker, Words and Images: An Essay on the Origin of Ideas, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. [REVIEW]Robert Briscoe - 2014 - Mind 123 (491):902-096.
  6. Why Stereotypes Don’T Even Make Good Defaults.Andrew C. Connolly, Jerry A. Fodor, Lila R. Gleitman & Henry Gleitman - 2007 - Cognition 103 (1):1-22.
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  7. Prototypes as Compositional Components of Concepts.Guillermo Del Pinal - 2016 - Synthese 193 (9):2899–2927.
    The aim of this paper is to reconcile two claims that have long been thought to be incompatible: that we compositionally determine the meaning of complex expressions from the meaning of their parts, and that prototypes are components of the meaning of lexical terms such as fish, red, and gun. Hypotheses and are independently plausible, but most researchers think that reconciling them is a difficult, if not hopeless task. In particular, most linguists and philosophers agree that is not negotiable; so (...)
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  8. Prototype Abstraction and Classification of New Instances as a Function of Number of Instances Defining the Prototype.Homa Donald, Cross Joseph, Cornell Don, Goldman David & Shwartz Steven - 1973 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 101 (1):116.
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  9. Concepts: Where Cognitive Science Went Wrong.Jerry A. Fodor - 1998 - Oxford University Press.
    The renowned philosopher Jerry Fodor, a leading figure in the study of the mind for more than twenty years, presents a strikingly original theory on the basic constituents of thought. He suggests that the heart of cognitive science is its theory of concepts, and that cognitive scientists have gone badly wrong in many areas because their assumptions about concepts have been mistaken. Fodor argues compellingly for an atomistic theory of concepts, deals out witty and pugnacious demolitions of rival theories, and (...)
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  10. Concepts: A Potboiler.Jerry A. Fodor - 1995 - Philosophical Issues 50 (1-3):133-51.
  11. The Red Herring and the Pet Fish: Why Concepts Still Can't Be Prototypes.Jerry A. Fodor & Ernest Lepore - 1996 - Cognition 58 (2):253-70.
    1 There is a Standard Objection to the idea that concepts might be prototypes (or exemplars, or stereotypes): Because they are productive, concepts must be compositional. Prototypes aren't compositional, so concepts can't be prototypes (see, e.g., Margolis, 1994).2 However, two recent papers (Osherson and Smith, 1988; Kamp and Partee, 1995) reconsider this consensus. They suggest that, although the Standard Objection is probably right in the long run, the cases where prototypes fail to exhibit compositionality are relatively exotic and involve phenomena (...)
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  12. A Note on Prototypes, Convexity and Fuzzy Sets.Norman Foo & Boon Toh Low - 2008 - Studia Logica 90 (1):125-137.
    The work on prototypes in ontologies pioneered by Rosch [10] and elaborated by Lakoff [8] and Freund [3] is related to vagueness in the sense that the more remote an instance is from a prototype the fewer people agree that it is an example of that prototype. An intuitive example is the prototypical “mother”, and it is observed that more specific instances like ”single mother”, “adoptive mother”, “surrogate mother”, etc., are less and less likely to be classified as “mothers” by (...)
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  13. Building Block Dilemmas.Christopher Gauker - 1998 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (1):26-27.
    Feature-based theories of concept formation face two dilemmas. First, for many natural concepts, it is hard to see how the concepts of the features could be developmentally more basic. Second, concept formation must be guided by “abstraction heuristics,” but these can be neither universal principles of rational thought nor natural conventions.
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  14. An Extraterrestrial Perspective on Conceptual Development.Christopher Gauker - 1993 - Mind and Language 8 (1):105-30.
    The network theory of conceptual development is the theory that conceptual developmentmay be represented as a process of constructing a network of linked nodes. The nodes of such a network represent concepts and the links between nodes represent relations between concepts. The structure of such a network is not determined by experience alone but must evolve in accordance with abstraction heuristics, which constrain the varieties of network between which experience must decide. This paper criticizes the network theory on the grounds (...)
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  15. Chapter 1. Prospects and Problems of Prototype Theory.Dirk Geeraerts - 2006 - In Words and Other Wonders: Papers on Lexical and Semantic Topics. Mouton de Gruyter.
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  16. Diachronic Prototype Semantics. A Digest.Dirk Geeraerts - 1999 - In Andreas Blank & Peter Koch (eds.), Historical Semantics and Cognition. Mouton de Gruyter. pp. 107.
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  17. Similar, and Similar Concepts.Lila R. Gleitman, Henry Gleitman, Carol Miller & Ruth Ostrin - 1996 - Cognition 58 (3):321-376.
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  18. Concepts, Prototypes, and Information.Richard E. Grandy - 1990 - In Enrique Villanueva (ed.), Information, Semantics, and Epistemology. Blackwell.
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  19. Dual Character Concepts in Social Cognition: Commitments and the Normative Dimension of Conceptual Representation.Del Pinal Guillermo & Reuter Kevin - 2017 - Cognitive Science 41 (S3):477–501.
    The concepts expressed by social role terms such as artist and scientist are unique in that they seem to allow two independent criteria for categorization, one of which is inherently normative. This study presents and tests an account of the content and structure of the normative dimension of these “dual character concepts.” Experiment 1 suggests that the normative dimension of a social role concept represents the commitment to fulfill the idealized basic function associated with the role. Background information can affect (...)
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  20. Conceptual Centrality and Implicit Bias.Del Pinal Guillermo & Spaulding Shannon - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    How are biases encoded in our representations of social categories? Philo- sophical and empirical discussions of implicit bias overwhelmingly focus on salient or statistical associations between target features and representations of social categories. These are the sorts of associations probed by the Implicit Association Test and various priming tasks. In this paper, we argue that these discussions systematically overlook an alternative way in which biases are encoded, i.e., in the dependency networks that are part of our representations of social categories. (...)
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  21. Concepts and Prototypes.James A. Hampton - 2000 - Mind and Language 15 (2-3):299-307.
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  22. Instance Contiguity in Disjunctive Concept Learning.Robert C. Haygood, Jean Sandlin, Delmar J. Yoder & David H. Dodd - 1969 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 81 (3):605.
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  23. Stacks Not Fuzzy Sets: An Ordinal Basis for Prototype Theory of Concepts.Gregory V. Jones - 1982 - Cognition 12 (3):281-290.
  24. On Prototypes as Defaults.Martin L. Jönsson & James A. Hampton - 2008 - Cognition 106 (2):913-923.
  25. Prototype Theory and Compositionality.H. Kamp - 1995 - Cognition 57 (2):129-191.
  26. A Frame-Based Approach for Theoretical Concepts.Stephan Kornmesser - 2016 - Synthese 193 (1):145-166.
    According to a seminal paper by Barsalou , frames are attribute-value-matrices for representing exemplars or concepts. Frames have been used as a tool for reconstructing scientific concepts as well as conceptual change within scientific revolutions . In the frame-based representations of scientific concepts developed so far the semantic content of concepts is determined by a set of attribute-specific values. This way of representing semantic content works best for prototype concepts and defined concepts of a conceptual taxonomy satisfying the no-overlap principle. (...)
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  27. Concepts Are Not a Natural Kind.Machery Edouard - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (3):444-467.
    Machery Edouard Concepts are Not a Natural Kind. Philosophy of Science. Full text available as: Adobe PDF: In cognitive psychology, concepts are those data structures that are stored in long-term memory and are used by default in human beings' higher cognitive processes. Most psychologists of concepts assume that these mental representations share many scientifically important properties, and the psychology of concepts is expected to describe those properties. Psychologists assume thereby that concepts constitute a natural kind. I call this assumption the (...)
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  28. Précis de Doing Without Concepts.Édouard Machery - 2011 - Dialogue 50 (1):141-152.
  29. Précis of Doing Without Concepts.Edouard Machery - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 149 (3):602-611.
    Although cognitive scientists have learned a lot about concepts, their findings have yet to be organized in a coherent theoretical framework. In addition, after twenty years of controversy, there is little sign that philosophers and psychologists are converging toward an agreement about the very nature of concepts. Doing without Concepts (Machery 2009) attempts to remedy this state of affairs. In this article, I review the main points and arguments developed at greater length in Doing without Concepts.
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  30. Précis of Doing Without Concepts.Edouard Machery - 2010 - Mind and Language 25 (5):602-611.
  31. Doing Without Concepts.Edouard Machery - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
    Over recent years, the psychology of concepts has been rejuvenated by new work on prototypes, inventive ideas on causal cognition, the development of neo-empiricist theories of concepts, and the inputs of the budding neuropsychology of concepts. But our empirical knowledge about concepts has yet to be organized in a coherent framework. -/- In Doing without Concepts, Edouard Machery argues that the dominant psychological theories of concepts fail to provide such a framework and that drastic conceptual changes are required to make (...)
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  32. Prototypes Revisited.Robert E. MacLaur - 1991 - Annual Review of Anthropology 20:55-74.
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  33. Concepts: Core Readings.Eric Margolis & Stephen Laurence (eds.) - 1999 - MIT Press.
    The first part of the book centers around the fall of the Classical Theory of Concepts in the face of attacks by W. V. O. Quine, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Eleanor..
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  34. Concepts: Stored or Created?Marco Mazzone & Elisabetta Lalumera - 2010 - Minds and Machines 20 (1):47-68.
    Are concepts stable entities, unchanged from context to context? Or rather are they context-dependent structures, created on the fly? We argue that this does not constitute a genuine dilemma. Our main thesis is that the more a pattern of features is general and shared, the more it qualifies as a concept. Contextualists have not shown that conceptual structures lack a stable, general core, acting as an attractor on idiosyncratic information. What they have done instead is to give a contribution to (...)
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  35. Concepts and Conceptual Structure.D. L. Medin - 1989 - American Psychologist 44:1469-81.
  36. Concepts and Conceptual Development.U. Neisser (ed.) - 1981 - Cambridge University Press.
    Concepts and Conceptual Development draws together theorists from a wide range of theoretical orientations to consider many different aspects of 'the psychology ...
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  37. On the Adequacy of Prototype Theory as a Theory of Concepts.Daniel N. Osherson & Edward E. Smith - 1981 - Cognition 9 (1):35-58.
  38. The Alleged Incompatibility of Prototypes and Compositionality.Alfredo Paternoster - 1998 - Acta Analytica 20 (20):61-69.
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  39. Furnishing the Mind: Concepts and Their Perceptual Basis.Jesse J. Prinz - 2002 - MIT Press.
    In Furnishing the Mind, Jesse Prinz attempts to swing the pendulum back toward empiricism.
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  40. Concepts and Stereotypes.Georges Rey - 1983 - Cognition 15 (1-3):237-62.
  41. How to Blunt the Sword of Compositionality.Philip Robbins - 2002 - Noûs 36 (2):313-334.
  42. Empiricist Versus Prototype Theories of Language Acquisition.Nathan Stemmer - 1989 - Mind and Language 4 (3):201-221.
  43. Meanings and Prototypes: Studies in Linguistic Categorization.Savas L. Tsohatzidis (ed.) - 1990 - Routledge.
  44. Meaning, Prototypes, and the Future of Cognitive Science.Jaap van Brakel - 1991 - Minds and Machines 1 (3):233-57.
    In this paper I evaluate the soundness of the prototype paradigm, in particular its basic assumption that there are pan-human psychological essences or core meanings that refer to basic-level natural kinds, explaining why, on the whole, human communication and learning are successful. Instead I argue that there are no particular pan-human basic elements for thought, meaning and cognition, neither prototypes, nor otherwise. To illuminate my view I draw on examples from anthropology. More generally I argue that the prototype paradigm exemplifies (...)
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  45. Formal Concept Analysis and Prototypes.Jan van Eijck & Joost Zwarts - unknown
    Categorization is probably one of the most central areas in the study of cognition, language and information. However, there is a serious gap running through the semantic treatments of categories and concepts [3]. On one side we find the ’classical’, formal approach, based on logical considerations, that has lent itself well for computational applications. In this approach, concepts are defined in terms of necessary and sufficient conditions. On the other side is an informal approach to categorization that is usually motivated (...)
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  46. The Plurality of Concepts.Daniel A. Weiskopf - 2009 - Synthese 169 (1):145-173.
    Traditionally, theories of concepts in psychology assume that concepts are a single, uniform kind of mental representation. But no single kind of representation can explain all of the empirical data for which concepts are responsible. I argue that the assumption that concepts are uniformly the same kind of mental structure is responsible for these theories’ shortcomings, and outline a pluralist theory of concepts that rejects this assumption. On pluralism, concepts should be thought of as being constituted by multiple representational kinds, (...)
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  47. Atomism, Pluralism, and Conceptual Content.Daniel A. Weiskopf - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (1):131-163.
    Conceptual atomists argue that most of our concepts are primitive. I take up three arguments that have been thought to support atomism and show that they are inconclusive. The evidence that allegedly backs atomism is equally compatible with a localist position on which concepts are structured representations with complex semantic content. I lay out such a localist position and argue that the appropriate position for a non-atomist to adopt is a pluralist view of conceptual structure. I show several ways in (...)
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