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Toward an Ecological Theory of Concepts Liane Gabora
 

Summary: Toward an Ecological Theory of Concepts
Liane Gabora
Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia
Eleanor Rosch
Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley
Diederik Aerts
Leo Apostel Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies and Department of Mathematics
Brussels Free University
Running head: Ecological Theory of Concepts
ECOLOGICAL THEORY OF CONCEPTS
2
Abstract
Psychology has had difficulty accounting for the creative, context-sensitive manner in which
concepts are used. We believe this stems from the view of concepts as identifiers rather than
bridges between mind and world that participate in the generation of meaning. This paper
summarizes the history and current status of concepts research, and provides a non-technical
summary of work toward an ecological approach to concepts. We outline the rationale for
applying generalizations of formalisms originally developed for use in quantum mechanics to the
modeling of concepts, showing how it is because of the role of context that deep structural
similarities exist between the two. A concept is defined not just in terms of exemplary states and

  

Source: Aerts, Diederik - Leo Apostel Centre, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

 

Collections: Multidisciplinary Databases and Resources; Physics