What are natural concepts? A design perspective.

Peter Gärdenfors, Igor Douven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Conceptual spaces have become an increasingly popular modeling tool in cognitive psychology. The core idea of the conceptual spaces approach is that concepts can be represented as regions in similarity spaces. While it is generally acknowledged that not every region in such a space represents a natural concept, it is still an open question what distinguishes those regions that represent natural concepts from those that do not. The central claim of this paper is that natural concepts are represented by the cells of an optimally designed similarity space.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-334
Number of pages22
JournalMind and Language
Issue number3
Early online date2019 Jun 27
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jun

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • General Language Studies and Linguistics
  • Psychology
  • Philosophy


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