Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (4):469-489 (2005)

Abstract
This article proposes a number of models to examine through which mechanisms a population of autonomous agents could arrive at a repertoire of perceptually grounded categories that is sufficiently shared to allow successful communication. The models are inspired by the main approaches to human categorisation being discussed in the literature: nativism, empiricism, and culturalism. Colour is taken as a case study. Although we take no stance on which position is to be accepted as final truth with respect to human categorisation and naming, we do point to theoretical constraints that make each position more or less likely and we make clear suggestions on what the best engineering solution would be. Specifically, we argue that the collective choice of a shared repertoire must integrate multiple constraints, including constraints coming from communication. Key Words: autonomous agents; colour categorisation; colour naming; connectionism; cultural evolution; genetic evolution; memes; origins of language; self-organisation; semiotic dynamics; symbol grounding.
Keywords autonomous agents   colour categorisation   colour naming   connectionism   cultural evolution   genetic evolution   memes   origins of language   self-organisation   semiotic dynamics   symbol grounding
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DOI 10.1017/s0140525x05000087
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References found in this work BETA

Philosophical Investigations.Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein - 1953 - New York, NY, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Word and Object.Willard van Orman Quine - 1960 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
The Meaning of 'Meaning'.Hillary Putnam - 1975 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7:131-193.

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Citations of this work BETA

Language, Thought, and Color: Whorf Was Half Right.Terry Regier & Paul Kay - 2009 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 13 (10):439-446.

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