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Lecture 12

Lecture 12.docx

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Carolyn Ensley

Lecture 12Chapter 9 Concepts and Generic KnowledgeLecture OutlineDefinitionsPrototypes and Typicality EffectsExemplarsDefinitionsWhat do we know when we know what a dog is Or what a chair isOrdinary concepts like these are the building blocks out of which all knowledge is createdAs well see describing even a simple concept is more difficult than one might guessDefinitionsOne possibility is that our concept of a dog is a definitionA dog might be defined as a mammal with four legs that barks and wags it tailBut what about dogs that do not bark or a dog that lost one leg in an accident Arent they still dogsFor any definition we can always find such exceptionsDefinitionsPhilosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein 1953 developed the problem of how to define gameFor any set of definitive features we can think of exceptions that are still considered gamesplayed by childrenengaged in for funhas rulesinvolves multiple peopleis competitiveis played during leisureDefinitions to each Wittgenstein proposed that members of a category have a family resemblanceotherDark hair glasses a mustache and a big nose are typical for this family but do not define the familyDefinitionsReturning to the dog example this is similar to saying that a dog probably has four legs probably barks and probably wags its tailAnd that a creature without these features is unlikely to be a dogDefinitionsThere may be no features that are shared by all dogs or all games just as there are no features shared by every member of a familyHowever the more characteristic features an object has the more likely we are to believe it is part of the categoryPrototypes and Typicality Effects
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