 
Summary: Contextualizing Concepts using a Mathematical
Generalization of the Quantum Formalism
Liane Gabora and Diederik Aerts
Center Leo Apostel for Interdisciplinary Studies (CLEA)
Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Krijgskundestraat 33
1160 Brussels, Belgium
EMails: lgabora@vub.ac.be, diraerts@vub.ac.be
Abstract
We outline the rationale and preliminary results of using the State
Context Property (SCOP) formalism, originally developed as a gen
eralization of quantum mechanics, to describe the contextual manner
in which concepts are evoked, used, and combined to generate mean
ing. 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 be
come 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 re
quire interaction with a contexta stimulus or another conceptto
`collapse' to an instantiated form (e.g. exemplar, prototype, or other
