Regions of Similarity Space

Christopher Gauker

in Words and Images

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780199599462
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729225 | DOI:
Regions of Similarity Space

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Several contemporary philosophers, above all Paul Churchland and Peter Gärdenfors, have held that concepts may be conceived as regions of a mental similarity space. This chapter reviews an empirical study by Barbara Malt and her collaborators that casts doubt on this theory. It also argues that regions of similarity space are not concepts because they cannot serve as the building blocks of judgments. They do not persist across learning, they cannot represent what we learn through verbal communication, and they cannot represent logically complex judgments.

Keywords: similarity; connectionism; learning; Churchland; Gärdenfors; Malt

Chapter.  12281 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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