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Lecture 4

phl week 4.docx

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PHL 444
Roy Morley

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Eleanor Rosch Wanted to use these criticisms to turn classical theory into a whole new theory Giving up on the idea of essences and defining features Prototype theory Replace defining features (sufficiency and necessary) with ‘typical features’. Claim that  concepts are organized around a prototype of something rather than a definition  ▯claims of this theory 1. prototype is the best example of a concept with the most typcal features of that  concept. It may not have to be a real member of that group but it could be (ie your  prorotype for a car could just be an idea that doesn’t exist, or it could be a robin  for the group of bird) 2. there is no set of necessary features that are jointly sufficient for determining a  category. Its not an all or nothing definition 3. category boundaries are ‘fuzzy’, no clear cut all of nothing necessary and  sufficient. No strict borders 4. instances of the category (members) can be rated for typicality in a typicality  gradient. How typical is a robin vs a penguin. The more typical features are  present determins how typical this member is of the category 5. category membership is determined by how similar the member in question is to  the features of the prototype this theory explains why all members are not equal, explains why people cant make  definitions of an essence for concepts, explains why boundaries and fuzzy and we need  family resemblance to explain how members of the category can belong to a category  without having 
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