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Sense generation : a 'quasi-classical' approach to concepts and concept combination

Franks, Bradley (1995) Sense generation : a 'quasi-classical' approach to concepts and concept combination. Cognitive Science, 19 (4). pp. 441-506. ISSN 0364-0213

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This article presents a detailed formal approach to concepts and concept combination. Sense generation is a competence-level theory that attempts to respect constraints from the various cognitive sciences, and postulates “quasi-classical” conceptual structures where ottributes receive only one value (but are defeasible and so do not represent necessary and sufficient conditions on category membership) and where classification is binary (but explicitly context-sensitive). It is also argued that any general theory of concepts must account for “privative” combinations (e.g., stone lion, fake gun, opporent friend) as extreme test-cases of representational and classificatory flexibility. The approach presented therefore provides a treatment of these combinations. The approach differentiates between the “lexical concept” (the stable information represented in a mental lexicon) which acts as a base from which the various “senses” (flexible contents associated with words and phrases in context, and used in classification) ore “generated.” Generation allows nonmonotonicity, so that in different circumstances, different attributes may be defeated or modified. Classification is treated as relotive to the perspective adopted, so that a class.ification acceptable from one perspective may be unacceptable from another, without contradiction. The result is a view that assumes bottom-up priority in concept combination, where the range of senses generated by bottom-up rules of combination is tempered by pragmatic-communicative constraints on classification. An account of the representational and classification behavior of privotive combinations is outlined, and the article concludes with a discussion of some of the implications of the approach.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 1995 Cognitive Science Society
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2007
Last Modified: 15 May 2024 23:37

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