Philosophical Explorations (2002)
We outline the rationale and preliminary results of using the State Context Property (SCOP) formalism, originally developed as a generalization of quantum mechanics, to describe the contextual manner in which concepts are evoked, used, and combined to generate meaning. The quantum formalism was developed to cope with problems arising in the description of (1) the measurement process, and (2) the generation of new states with new properties when particles become entangled. Similar problems arising with concepts motivated the formal treatment introduced here. Concepts are viewed not as fixed representations, but entities existing in states of potentiality that require interaction with a context---a stimulus or another concept---to `collapse' to observable form as an exemplar, prototype, or other (possibly imaginary) instance. The stimulus situation plays the role of the measurement in physics, acting as context that induces a change of the cognitive state from superposition state to collapsed state. The collapsed state is more likely to consist of a conjunction of concepts for associative than analytic thought because more stimulus or concept properties take part in the collapse. We provide two contextual measures of conceptual distance---one using collapse probabilities and the other weighted properties---and show how they can be applied to conjunctions using the pet fish problem.
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Citations of this work BETA
The Potential of Using Quantum Theory to Build Models of Cognition.Zheng Wang, Jerome R. Busemeyer, Harald Atmanspacher & Emmanuel M. Pothos - 2013 - Topics in Cognitive Science 5 (4):672-688.
Concepts and Their Dynamics: A Quantum‐Theoretic Modeling of Human Thought.Diederik Aerts, Liane Gabora & Sandro Sozzo - 2013 - Topics in Cognitive Science 5 (4):737-772.
Quantum Particles as Conceptual Entities: A Possible Explanatory Framework for Quantum Theory. [REVIEW]Diederik Aerts - 2009 - Foundations of Science 14 (4):361-411.
Quantum Cognition: A New Theoretical Approach to Psychology.Peter D. Bruza, Zheng Wang & Jerome R. Busemeyer - 2015 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 19 (7):383-393.
Comparing the Axiomatic and Ecological Approaches to Rationality: Fundamental Agreement Theorems in SCOP.Patricia Rich - forthcoming - Synthese:1-19.
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