Posted at 01.01.2019
Prototype Theory is a controversial issue within and among different disciplines including linguistics, mindset, cognitive science, computer technology and viewpoint. Linguistics focuses on the appropriateness of Prototype Theory as a theory of meanings. Mindset and cognitive science look for experimental data to describe cognitive thinking functions in the mind and human perception. Computer research investigates the numerical representations of concepts and their hierarchical constructions. Viewpoint questions the lifestyle of entities and the way how these entities exist in different possible worlds. In this essay, I'd like to investigate and dissect Prototype Theory cut by cut from different cross-disciplinary perspectives.
My concentrate of discussion will be based on the criticisms of Prototype Theory made by Laurence and Margolis (1999). They point out four problems of Prototype Theory: (1) The Issue of Prototypical Primes; (2) The Problem of Ignorance and Problem; (3) The Missing Prototype Problem and (4) The Issue of Compositionality. In this essay, I dispute that Prototype Theory is not a complete and appropriate theory of meanings.
Firstly, for the Problem of Prototypical Primes, Laurence and Margolis (1999) propose from the point of view of cognitive technology that "typicality effects do not claim for prototype framework since even well-defined principles exhibit typicality results" (p. 32), where "well-defined ideas" means that folks know and can produce the definitions of the concepts immediately. Laurence and Margolis (1999) think that typicality judgments aren't about examples of regular membership while prototypes are discussed by typicality judgments based on speed and exactness of categorization reflecting people's views on the degree instances of an exemplar instantiate a category. A philosopher Wittgenstein (1999) guess that the concept game cannot be defined by properties that are shared by all game titles but the theory game exhibits prototypical results which correlate with family resemblance. The more properties a member of an category shares with the other customers, a lot more prototypical it is. In linguistics, some linguists think that Prototype Theory is an improved solution theory than Traditional Theory as it can account for prototype effects which are defined as having fuzzy category limitations and central and marginal people in a category. Cognitive psychologist Rosch (1999) devised some experimental responsibilities of goodness-of-example rankings in terms of effect times and priming. The studies show prototypicality because of human belief when members of any category are placed diversely and responded in various speed.
I argue that Prototype Theory is an excellent theory of meanings on the floor of its potential to bridge the indirect hyperlink between vocabulary and the planet through your brain by prototype effects. The above views of different disciplines present the situation of whether typicality or prototype results can be considered a solid foundation on which Prototype Theory is grounded. This also questions whether Prototype Theory can be an appropriate option to the Aristotelian Classical Theory as a theory of meanings. Psychological conclusions account for prototype effects therefore of human notion. Prototypicality is therefore a feature in individual thinking when it requires categorization of concepts from the earth through the mind by vocabulary. This feature does apply to most occasion no subject definitions are involved or not. Hence, I do not trust Laurence and Margolis that prototype buildings are mutually exclusive to meanings of ideas. Prototypes show the typical representation of the principles and this does not contradict to whether people have the data of the definitions of principles. Wittgenstein illustrated that the concept game can't be defined but people can still grasp the idea of game and its own meanings by prototypes. This involves the challenge of concept creation and concept identification. Knowledge and understanding of meanings of concepts can stem from the generalizations of prototypes. According to the Ogden & Richard's Triangle, in linguistic terms, words are straight linked to thoughts (ideas), which in turn are directly linked to the world. In cognitive terms, language links back to you with cognition through categorization, and cognition links to the planet by understanding. Prototypes bridge the link between your undefinable principles in language through the protypicality feature in individuals perception of concepts in the mind to the possible world in which the concepts are present.
Secondly, for the Issue of Ignorance and Error, I argue that Prototype Theory is flawed in indicating persistence in atypical and marginal participants of complex ideas in trade for cognitive merits. Laurence and Margolis (1999) suggest that "principles with prototype composition neglect to cover highly atypical circumstances and incorrectly include non-instances" (p. 32). They use the concept grandmother to demonstrate the condition. Prototypical grandmothers are old, gray-haired with eyeglasses, kind to children and like baking cookies. However, the challenge is that a person can fulfill these properties without being a grandmother and a person can be a grandmother without satisfying these properties. I believe George Lakoff provided a good description upon this problem. Lakoff (1999) illustrates the Idealized Cognitive Model (ICM) that some categories are seen as a clusters of cognitive models. Some principles are so complicated that no meanings can cover the entire range of conditions. Lakoff (1999) used the concept mother to illustration the clusters of models in conditions of birth, genetic, nurturance. marital and ancestral models. Hence, there are many subtypes of moms like stepmother, surrogate mother, adoptive mother, foster mother, biological mother and donor mother. As far as I am worried, my prototypical knowledge of mother is a woman who contributed my genes, gave birth to me, raised me and is my father's current wife. More importantly, my prototype of mom is the same female with the above capabilities. Laurence and Margolis's satisfaction of properties shows how a subordinate prototypical model of the concept grandmother does not satisfy properties of other cognitive models. Therefore, the creators are to say that prototype representations lack sufficient richness to add all birds or all tigers, and they're too abundant to embody information that includes things that aren't wild birds or tigers. Parrots without feathers remain birds. Three-legged, tame and toothless tigers are still tigers. They are really just the atypical participants of the category.
From the point of view of psychology, these shows the cognitive idea that how a notion is deployed determines what items fall under it. Taylor (1989) shows that prototype categories are flexible, in comparison to Aristotelian categories, to have the ability to provide new and unfamiliar data. Therefore, new entities and new experiences can be commonly associated to a prototype category as peripheral members without having to create new categories and redefinition of existing categories. This structural balance and versatile adaptability is a merit of Prototype Theory in cognition. Gazzaniga, Heatherton and Halpern (2010) define categorization as grouping things predicated on distributed properties, which functions to reduce the quantity of knowledge we must hold in storage and is an effective way of thinking. With regards to atypical cases, this merit is achieved by portion cognitive functions not for meanings of words, but for structured organization and categorization without exploiting cognitive resources.
Thirdly, for the Missing Prototype Problem, I dispute that Prototype Theory cannot cover all senses and ideas when they lack prototypes. Concept ownership is viewed in a different way from different disciplines. Corresponding to Frege's semantic theory, senses will be the cognitive content of linguistic expressions. In linguistics, this is of linguistic expressions derives from two resources including the language they are really part of and the entire world they illustrate. Sense is the partnership between expressions within the words. Sense is important of meanings. In psychology, according to Gazzaniga, Heatherton and Halpern (2010), concepts are mental and schematic representations that teams or categorizes things, events, or relationships around common themes or templates. As opposed to the psychological view of principles being mental representations, ideas are some abstract and non-mental entities in beliefs. No matter how ideas are viewed in various perspectives, you can find one thing in common that principles have their own content to mention meaning.
Laurence and Margolis (1999) propose that many principles lack prototypes and they're not associated with typicality judgments so people fail to signify central tendencies. The authors price Jerry Fodor's example, demonstrating that we now have no prototypical properties of grandmothers almost all of whose grandchildren are wedded to dentists. This reveals the challenge that many complicated concepts lack prototype structure and prototypical properties. Although it seems natural for folks to own representative exemplars of concepts coming to mind easily, it generally does not necessarily mean that applies to all concepts. It is still possible for folks to grasp an idea without knowing a prototype. For example, some abstract principles like opinion, sincerity, utopian, love, hatred and adversity lack prototype structure. These abstract ideas are metaphysical but not epistemic. They don't have prototypical properties but their meanings are still conveyed by words. A few examples indicating exclusivity or undiscovered and expected novelty also lack prototype structure. For example, non-human, material weighing more than one kilogram, rather than Chinese are exclusive good examples. Cases like new innovations, Martian and doomsday illustrate unknown and meant novelty. Therefore, concept possession does not automatically require prototypes. That is an inevitable weakness of Prototype Theory.
Fourthly, I claim that Prototype Theory cannot take into account complex conceptual combinations. For the Problem of Compositionality, Laurence and Margolis (1999) propose that the Prototype Theory cannot account for compositionality adequately since the prototypes of complex concepts aren't generally a function of the prototypes of the constituent concepts. This is reinforced by Osherson and Smith's (1981) objection to fuzzy set in place theory's style of compositionality. Fuzzy set theory is a theory in computer science that sheds light on Prototype Theory in linguistics.
According to Laurence and Margolis (1999), fuzzy collection theory builds on the notion of graded regular membership; a fuzzy set is a function that assigns to each item in the area of discourse lots between 0 and 1, calculating the degree to which the item is in the place. The bigger the values, the bigger degree of regular membership. I feel that fuzzy place theory is so computational that this ignores the fact that prototypical features require knowledge of the real world in terms of culture and experience. The methodology fuzzy set theory followed to describe the way of measuring of similarity and degree of membership unveils the setbacks of Prototype Theory-the incapability to use for compositional conceptual combos. Osherson and Smith's (1981) use a good example of conjunctive concepts-striped apple to explain fuzzy intersections of compositional ideas of striped and apple. The creators point out that a very good illustration of a striped apple will inevitably be a poor instance of apple. Fodor and Lepore (1996) claim that prototypes are not always a function of the prototypes with their constituents plus they come to the final outcome that concepts cannot be prototypes as prototypes are not compositional and ideas must be compositional. They illustrate their arguments by pet seafood. Prototypical pet fish is goldfish. Prototypes of pet can be dogs and cats. Prototypical pet seafood makes poor types of both family pet and seafood. Hence, this facilitates the notion that the prototypes of complex concepts are not generally a function of the prototypes of the constituent concepts. As far as I am concerned, prototypes are subject to recursion but prototypes of compositional concepts complicate the matter in deciding meanings. Prototypes are recursive because prototype of an superordinate level furniture can be chair. Prototype of chair can be dining room chair and the prototypes of the subordinate levels go on and on. When concepts are no longer simple but compositional like striped apple, recursion of prototypes halts. Prototypes of striped can be equally or randomly distributed, and in vertical, horizontal or diagonal guidelines. Prototypes of apple can be red, round and juicy. When these prototypes of striped and apple have to merge with one another, the compositionality is an odd conceptual blend where prototypicality can't take into account it.
In spite of its capacity to bridge the indirect website link between terminology and the planet through your brain, Prototype Theory is not thorough enough to be a proper theory. It is not versatile enough as its only strength lies in accounting prototype results.