more from Edouard Machery

Single Idea 18599

[catalogued under 18. Thought / D. Concepts / 4. Structure of Concepts / e. Concepts from exemplars]

Full Idea

An object that is extremely similar to a specific known category member, but only moderately similar to others, is more likely to be categorised as a category member than an object that is moderately similar to most known category members.

Gist of Idea

In practice, known examples take priority over the rest of the set of exemplars


Edouard Machery (Doing Without Concepts [2009], 4.3.3)

Book Reference

Machery,Edouard: 'Doing Without Concepts' [OUP 2009], p.98

A Reaction

This research finding is a problem for the Exemplar Theory, in which all the exemplars have equal status. It is even a problem for the Prototype Theory, since the known member may not be like the prototype.