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Contextualizing Concepts using a Mathematical Generalization of the Quantum Formalism

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
E-Mails: lgabora@vub.ac.be, diraerts@vub.ac.be
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 context--a stimulus or another concept--to
`collapse' to an instantiated form (e.g. exemplar, prototype, or other


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


Collections: Multidisciplinary Databases and Resources; Physics