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Specification of the unified conceptual space, for purposes of empirical investigation

Parthemore, Joel LU (2015) In Synthese Library 359. p.223-244
Abstract
Abstract Recent years have seen a number of competing theories of concepts within philosophy of mind, supplanting the classical definitionist and imagist accounts: among them, Jerry Fodor's informational atomism, Jesse Prinz's proxytypes theory, and -- of course -- Peter Gärdenfors' (2004) conceptual spaces theory (CST). On the whole there has been little empirical investigation into the competing theories' merits; the (limited) empirical investigation of CST offers the one obvious exception. Some theories, such as informational atomism, seem almost beyond the possibility of such testing by design. Some philosophers would claim that theories of concepts, by their nature, cannot be tested empirically; and they raise valid concerns. Although... (More)
Abstract Recent years have seen a number of competing theories of concepts within philosophy of mind, supplanting the classical definitionist and imagist accounts: among them, Jerry Fodor's informational atomism, Jesse Prinz's proxytypes theory, and -- of course -- Peter Gärdenfors' (2004) conceptual spaces theory (CST). On the whole there has been little empirical investigation into the competing theories' merits; the (limited) empirical investigation of CST offers the one obvious exception. Some theories, such as informational atomism, seem almost beyond the possibility of such testing by design. Some philosophers would claim that theories of concepts, by their nature, cannot be tested empirically; and they raise valid concerns. Although I concede that theories of concepts are not open to direct empirical investigation, nonetheless indirect methods can provide strong circumstantial evidence for or against a theory such as CST; and I offer a research plan for doing so. Indeed, I argue that an extension of CST I call unified conceptual spaces theory (UCST) is better placed than the competition when it comes to such testing, not least because it comes with a software application, in the form of a mind-mapping program, as a more-or-less direct translation of the theory into a working computer model.



Abstract This paper provides the most detailed specification to date of the algorithm underlying the UCST, described in (Parthemore, 2013; Parthemore, 2011; Parthemore and Morse, 2010) as an attempt to move CST in a more algorithmically amenable and therefore, it is hoped, more empirically testable direction. UCST brings all the many widely divergent conceptual spaces discussed in CST together into a single unified “space of spaces” arranged along three axes, where points in the space have both local and distal connections to other points. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
unified space, conceptual spaces, theories of concepts, prototypes, integral dimensions, algorithms, mind mapping
host publication
Conceptual Spaces at Work
series title
Synthese Library
editor
Zenker, Frank and Gärdenfors, Peter
volume
359
pages
22 pages
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • scopus:85117116663
ISSN
2542-8292
0166-6991
ISBN
978-3-319-15021-5
978-3-319-15020-8
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-15021-5_12
project
Centre for Cognitive Semiotics (RJ)
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
c7253c60-ad86-4871-8799-731542991a50 (old id 4276777)
date added to LUP
2016-04-04 11:43:33
date last changed
2021-11-12 15:01:26
@inbook{c7253c60-ad86-4871-8799-731542991a50,
  abstract     = {Abstract Recent years have seen a number of competing theories of concepts within philosophy of mind, supplanting the classical definitionist and imagist accounts: among them, Jerry Fodor's informational atomism, Jesse Prinz's proxytypes theory, and -- of course -- Peter Gärdenfors' (2004) conceptual spaces theory (CST). On the whole there has been little empirical investigation into the competing theories' merits; the (limited) empirical investigation of CST offers the one obvious exception. Some theories, such as informational atomism, seem almost beyond the possibility of such testing by design. Some philosophers would claim that theories of concepts, by their nature, cannot be tested empirically; and they raise valid concerns. Although I concede that theories of concepts are not open to direct empirical investigation, nonetheless indirect methods can provide strong circumstantial evidence for or against a theory such as CST; and I offer a research plan for doing so. Indeed, I argue that an extension of CST I call unified conceptual spaces theory (UCST) is better placed than the competition when it comes to such testing, not least because it comes with a software application, in the form of a mind-mapping program, as a more-or-less direct translation of the theory into a working computer model.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Abstract This paper provides the most detailed specification to date of the algorithm underlying the UCST, described in (Parthemore, 2013; Parthemore, 2011; Parthemore and Morse, 2010) as an attempt to move CST in a more algorithmically amenable and therefore, it is hoped, more empirically testable direction. UCST brings all the many widely divergent conceptual spaces discussed in CST together into a single unified “space of spaces” arranged along three axes, where points in the space have both local and distal connections to other points.},
  author       = {Parthemore, Joel},
  booktitle    = {Conceptual Spaces at Work},
  editor       = {Zenker, Frank and Gärdenfors, Peter},
  isbn         = {978-3-319-15021-5},
  issn         = {2542-8292},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {223--244},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Synthese Library},
  title        = {Specification of the unified conceptual space, for purposes of empirical investigation},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-15021-5_12},
  doi          = {10.1007/978-3-319-15021-5_12},
  volume       = {359},
  year         = {2015},
}