Peter Gärdenfors

Peter Gärdenfors
Lund University | LU · Department of Philosophy

Professor

About

285
Publications
89,834
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14,715
Citations
Education
September 1970 - September 1974
Lund University
Field of study
  • Theoretical Philosopihy

Publications

Publications (285)
Article
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We present a model of how counting is learned based on the ability to perform a series of specific steps. The steps require conceptual knowledge of three components: numerosity as a property of collections; numerals; and one-to-one mappings between numerals and collections. We argue that establishing one-to-one mappings is the central feature of co...
Article
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In Gärdenfors and Makinson (1994) and Gärdenfors (1992) it was shown that it is possible to model nonmonotonic inference using a classical consequence relation plus an expectation-based ordering of formulas. In this article, we argue that this framework can be significantly enriched by adopting a conceptual spaces-based analysis of the role of expe...
Article
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Central to the conceptual spaces framework is the thought that concepts can be studied mathematically, by geometrical and topological means. Various applications of the framework have already been subjected to empirical testing, mostly with excellent results, demonstrating the framework's usefulness. So far untested is the suggestion that conceptua...
Article
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The article begins with a presentation of the role of demonstration and pantomime in the evolution of teaching building on Gärdenfors and Högberg (2017). In comparison to different forms of animal communication, demonstration is voluntary, intentional, honest, and directed to one or a few individuals. Then the differences between demonstration and...
Article
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The aim of this article is to provide an evolutionarily grounded explanation of central aspects of the structure of language. It begins with an account of the evolution of human causal reasoning. A comparison between humans and non-human primates suggests that human causal cognition is based on reasoning about the underlying forces that are involve...
Preprint
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Human recognition of the actions of other humans is very efficient and is based on patterns of movements. Our theoretical starting point is that the dynamics of the joint movements is important to action categorization. On the basis of this theory, we present a novel action recognition system that employs a hierarchy of Self-Organizing Maps togethe...
Preprint
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We present an online system for real time recognition of actions involving objects working in online mode. The system merges two streams of information processing running in parallel. One is carried out by a hierarchical self-organizing map (SOM) system that recognizes the performed actions by analysing the spatial trajectories of the agent's movem...
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It is widely thought that causal cognition underpins technical reasoning. Here we suggest that understanding causal cognition as a thinking system that includes theory of mind (i.e., social cognition) can be a productive theoretical tool for the field of evolutionary cognitive archaeology. With this contribution, we expand on an earlier model that...
Article
We investigate a particular subclass of semantic features associated with demonstratives of quantity and quality, and the respective interrogatives. We explore these lexical elements as they behave linguistically in simile constructions in Croatian. We show that the semantic features that can be focused on in similes are the same as the references...
Article
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The world as we perceive it is structured into objects, actions and places that form parts of events. In this article, my aim is to explain why these categories are cognitively primary. From an empiricist and evolutionary standpoint, it is argued that the reduction of the complexity of sensory signals is based on the brain's capacity to identify va...
Article
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Reinforcement learning systems usually assume that a value function is defined over all states (or state-action pairs) that can immediately give the value of a particular state or action. These values are used by a selection mechanism to decide which action to take. In contrast, when humans and animals make decisions, they collect evidence for diff...
Article
Osiurak and Reynaud do not explain the evolutionary emergence and development of the elephant in the room, that is, technical cognition. We first argue that there is a tight correlation between the evolution of cumulative technological culture (CTC) and the evolution of reasoning about abstract forces. Second, intentional teaching plays a greater r...
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Many animal species use tools, but human technical engagement is more complex. We argue that there is coevolution between technical engagement (the manufacturing and use of tools) and advanced forms of causal cognition in the human (Homo) lineage. As an analytic tool, we present a classification of different forms of causal thinking. Human causal t...
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Many animal species use tools, but human technical engagement is more complex. We argue that there is coevolution between technical engagement (the manufacturing and use of tools) and advanced forms of causal cognition in the human (Homo) lineage. As an analytic tool, we present a classification of different forms of causal thinking. Human causal t...
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The aim of the article is to present a model of causal relations that is based on what is known about human causal reasoning and that forms guidelines for implementations in robots. I argue for two theses concerning human cognition. The first is that human causal cognition, in contrast to that of other animals, is based on the understanding of the...
Article
Most semantic models employed in human-robot interactions concern how a robot can understand commands, but in this article the aim is to present a framework that allows dialogic interaction. The key idea is to use events as the fundamental structures for the semantic representations of a robot. Events are modeled in terms of conceptual spaces and m...
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This article presents two learning processes in order to explain how children at an early age can transform a complex sensory input to concepts and categories. The first process constructs the perceptual structures that emerge in children’s cognitive development by detecting invariants in the sensory input. The invariant structures involve a reduct...
Chapter
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Unifying the manuscripts collected in this volume is Gärdenfors’s (2000) theory of conceptual spaces. It has meanwhile established itself both within contemporary cognitive science and beyond, as a descriptive approach mediating between the symbolic and the sub-symbolic levels of representation.
Chapter
This article is a rejoinder to Hernández-Conde’s (Synthese 194(10):4011–4037, 2017) criticism of the convexity criterion in the theory of conceptual spaces. His arguments in general claim that the convexity criterion could be false and that it therefore is problematic for the theory. However, this is a misunderstanding since the convexity criterion...
Preprint
Adult humans spontaneously associate visual features, such as size and direction of movement, with phonetic properties like vowel quality and auditory pitch. A number of recent studies have claimed that looking time in preverbal infants reveals the same associations, which would indicate that some cross-modal correspondences are the result of perce...
Article
The hippocampal formation has long been suggested to underlie both memory formation and spatial navigation. We discuss how neural mechanisms identified in spatial navigation research operate across information domains to support a wide spectrum of cognitive functions. In our framework, place and grid cell population codes provide a representational...
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Conceptual spaces have become an increasingly popular modeling tool in cognitive psychology, artificial intelligence, and philosophy. e core idea of the conceptual spaces approach is that concepts can be represented geometrically, as regions in similarity spaces. While it is generally acknowledged that not every region in such a space represents a...
Article
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Within analytic philosophy, induction has been seen as a problem concerning inferences that have been analysed as relations between sentences. In this article, we argue that induction does not primarily concern relations between sentences, but between properties and categories. We outline a new approach to induction that is based on two theses. The...
Article
Dieser Beitrag versucht die evolutionären Ursprünge von Ritualen nachzuvollziehen. Meine These ist dabei, dass Rituale als Konventionalisierungen von Pantomimen entstanden sind. Die ursprüngliche Funktion von Pantomime ist die Lehre. In dieser Funktion bezieht sich Pantomime auf Demonstration. Mein Schwerpunkt in diesem Beitrag liegt auf Ritualen,...
Article
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Events can be modeled through a geometric approach, representing event structures in terms of spaces and mappings between spaces. At least two spaces are needed to describe an event, an action space and a result space. In this article, we invoke general mathematical structures in order to develop this geometric perspective. We focus on three cognit...
Article
It is argued that early language learning in children emerges from five primary knowledge structures: Space, objects, actions, number and events. These structures constitute the basis for the semantic domains that are used to form categories that represent the meanings of early words. The domains are naturally modeled in conceptual spaces that are...
Article
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We introduce a memory model for robots that can account for many aspects of an inner world, ranging from object permanence, episodic memory, and planning to imagination and reveries. It is modeled after neurophysiological data and includes parts of the cerebral cortex together with models of arousal systems that are relevant for consciousness. The...
Article
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With this contribution we analyze ancient hunting technologies as one way to explore the development of causal cognition in the hominin lineage. Building on earlier work, we separate seven grades of causal thinking. By looking at variations in force dynamics as a central element in causal cognition, we analyze the thinking required for different hu...
Preprint
Within analytic philosophy, induction has been seen as a problem concerning inferences that have been analysed as relations between sentences. In this article, we argue that induction does not primarily concern relations between sentences, but between properties and categories. We outline a new approach to induction that is based on two theses. The...
Article
We argue that the meanings of demonstratives and articles can be analysed in terms of a combination of the spatial domain and a small set of semantic domains. We propose that deictic terms have a 'fast semantics' in the sense that they get their meaning in the course of the communicative act, as a result of an interaction between the interlocutors,...
Article
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By understanding laws of nature as geometrical rather than linguistic entities, this paper addresses how to describe theory structures and how to evaluate their continuity. Relying on conceptual spaces as a modelling tool, we focus on the conceptual framework an empirical theory presupposes, thus obtain a geometrical representation of a theory’s st...
Conference Paper
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As autonomous robots expand their application beyond research labs and production lines, they must work in more flexible and less well defined environments. To escape the requirement for exhaustive instruction and stipulated preference ordering, a robot’s operation must involve choices between alternative actions, guided by goals. We describe a rob...
Article
Full-text available
Human recognition of the actions of other humans is very efficient and is based on patterns of movements. Our theoretical starting point is that the dynamics of the joint movements is important to action categorization. On the basis of this theory, we present a novel action recognition system that employs a hierarchy of Self-Organizing Maps togethe...
Article
Full-text available
We suggest a seven-grade model for the evolution of causal cognition as a framework that can be used to gauge variation in the complexity of causal reasoning from the panin-hominin split until the appearance of cognitively modern hunter-gatherer communities. The intention is to put forward a cohesive model for the evolution of causal cognition in h...
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Donald proposes that early Homo evolved mimesis as a new form of cognition. This article investigates the mimesis hypothesis in relation to the evolution of teaching. The fundamental capacities that distinguish hominin teaching from that of other animals are demonstration and pantomime. A conceptual analysis of the instructional and communicative f...
Conference Paper
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We present a novel action recognition system that is able to learn how to recognize and classify actions. Our system employs a three-layered neural network hierarchy consisting of two self-organizing maps together with a supervised neural network for labeling the actions. The system is equipped with a module that pre- processes the 3D input data be...
Article
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Teaching is present in all human societies, while within other species it is very limited. Something happened during the evolution of Homo sapiens that also made us Homo docens-the teaching animal. Based on discussions of animal and hominin learning, we analyze the evolution of intentional teaching by a series of levels that require increasing capa...
Chapter
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The main thesis of this chapter is that children do not learn single new words but rather new words that belong to the same domain. For example, once they learn a word for a color, other color words will be learned soon after. The chapter presents a model of such domain-oriented language learning. Conceptual spaces are used as a framework for model...
Article
The qualitative division between domain-general and domain-specific cognition is unsubstantiated. The distinction is instead better viewed as opposites on a gradual scale, which has more explanatory power and fits current empirical evidence better. We also argue that causal cognition may be more general than social learning, which it often involves...
Conference Paper
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We present a hierarchical self-organizing map based system for online recognition of human actions. We have made a first evaluation of our system by training it on two different sets of recorded human actions, one set containing manner actions and one set containing result actions, and then tested it by letting a human performer carry out the actio...
Article
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Spaces in the brain can refer either to psychological spaces, which are derived from similarity judgments, or to neurocognitive spaces, which are based on the activities of neural structures. We want to show how psychological spaces naturally emerge from the underlying neural spaces by dimension reductions that preserve similarity structures and th...
Article
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In robotics research with language-based interaction, simplifications are made, such that a given event can be described in a unique manner, where there is a direct mapping between event representations and sentences that can describe these events. However, common experience tells us that the same physical event can be described in multiple ways, d...
Article
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There is a great deal of justified concern about continuity through scientific theory change. Our thesis is that, particularly in physics, such continuity can be appropriately captured at the level of conceptual frameworks (the level above the theories themselves) using conceptual space models. Indeed, we contend that the conceptual spaces of three...
Article
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We approach the semantics of prepositions from the perspective of conceptual spaces. Focusing on purely spatial locative and directional prepositions, we analyze both types of prepositions in terms of polar coordinates instead of Cartesian coordinates. This makes it possible to demonstrate that the property of convexity holds quite generally in the...
Chapter
This paper extends earlier work by its authors on formal aspects of the processes of contracting a theory to eliminate a proposition and revising a theory to introduce a proposition. In the course of the earlier work, Gardenfors developed general postulates of a more or less equational nature for such processes, whilst Alchourron and Makinson studi...
Article
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This article presents a unified approach to the semantics of prepositions based on the theory of conceptual spaces. Following the themes of my recent book The Geometry of Meaning, I focus on the convexity of their meanings and on which semantic domains are expressed by prepositions. As regards convex-ity, using polar coordinates turns out to provid...
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This article discusses the relation between knowing, learning and teaching in relation to early Palaeolithic technologies. We begin by distinguishing between three kinds of knowledge: knowing how, knowing what and knowing that. We discuss the relation between these types of knowledge and different forms of learning and long-term memory systems. On...
Article
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Social learning is essential for human evolution. To achieve such learning, cultural processes which trigger the development of active teaching and intergenerational transmission and accumulation of knowledge are needed. The understanding of how such systems and processes were developed over a long time is essential for our understanding of human e...
Article
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We argue that Kline's analysis does not account for the evolutionary mechanisms that can explain the uniqueness of human teaching. We suggest that data should be complemented by an analysis of archaeological material with respect to what forms of teaching are required for the transmission of technologies over generations. How to Cite This Article...
Article
While “meaning negotiation” has become an ubiquitous term, its use is often confusing. A negotiation problem implies not only a convenience to agree, but also diverging interest on what to agree upon. It implies agreement but also the possibility of (voluntary) disagreement. In this chapter, we look at meaning negotiation as the process through whi...
Article
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This introductory chapter provides a non-technical presentation of conceptual spaces as a representational framework for modeling different kinds of similarity relations in various cognitive domains. Moreover, we briefly summarize each chapter in this volume.
Book
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This volume provides an overview of applications of conceptual spaces theory, beginning with an introduction to the modeling tool that unifies the chapters. The first section explores issues of linguistic semantics, including speakers negotiation of meaning. Further sections address computational and ontological aspects of constructing conceptual s...
Chapter
There are two major ways to deal with the limitations of classical logic. It can be replaced by systems representing alternative accounts of the laws of thought (non-classical logic), or it can be supplemented with non-inferential mechanisms. David Makinson has a leading role as proponent of the latter approach in the form of the inferential-prefer...
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Categorization of rhythmic patterns is prevalent in musical practice, an example of this being the transcription of (possibly not strictly metrical) music into musical notation. In this article we implement a dynamical systems' model of rhythm categorization based on the resonance theory of rhythm perception developed by Large (2010). This model is...
Conference Paper
Classical conditioning is important in humans to learn and predict events in terms of associations between stimuli and to produce responses based on these associations. Social robots that have a classical conditioning skill like humans will have an advantage to interact with people more naturally, socially and effectively. In this paper, we present...
Article
Pointing is a typical means of directing a human's attention to a specific object or event. Robot pointing behaviours that direct the attention of humans are critical for human-robot interaction, communication and collaboration. In this paper, we describe an experiment undertaken to investigate human comprehension of a humanoid robot's pointing beh...
Chapter
Computational complexity has been developed under the assumption that thinking can be modelled by a Turing machine. This view of cognition has more recently been complemented with situated and embodied cognition where the key idea is that cognition consists of an interaction between the brain, the body and the surrounding world. This chapter deals...
Article
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We propose an event-based account of the cognitive and linguistic representation of time and temporal relations. Human beings differ from nonhuman animals in entertaining and communicating elaborate detached (as opposed to cued) event representations and temporal relational schemas. We distinguish deictically based (D-time) from sequentially based...
Article
The meanings of words are not permanent but change over time. Some changes of meaning are quick, such as when a pronoun changes its reference; some are slower, as when two speakers find out that they are using the same word in different senses; and some are very slow, such as when the meaning of a word changes over historical time. A theory of sema...
Article
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CastañedaHector-Neri. Thinking and doing. The philosophical foundations of institutions. Philosophical studies series in philosophy, vol. 7. D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht and Boston1975, XVIII + 366 pp. - Volume 50 Issue 1 - Peter Gärdenfors
Article
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This article contains comments on the other papers in this volume. I take up the roles of the world, the mind and the society in my semantic theory. I show how semantic differences between languages can be seen as attending to different parts of event structures. The role of the emotion domain in relation to the meaning of pejoratives is discussed....
Article
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Within linguistics a word class is defined in grammatical terms as a set of words that exhibit the same syntactic properties. In this paper the aim is to argue that the meanings of different word classes can be given a cognitive grounding. It is shown that with the aid of conceptual spaces, a geometric analysis can be provided for the major word cl...
Article
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This article outlines how conceptual spaces theory applies to modeling changes of scientific frameworks when these are treated as spatial structures rather than as linguistic entities. The theory is briefly introduced and five types of changes are presented. It is then contrasted with Michael Friedman’s neo-Kantian account that seeks to render Kuhn...
Conference Paper
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The ability to draw other agents’ attention to objects and events is an important skill on the critical path to effective human-robot collaboration. People use the act of pointing to draw other people’s attention to objects and events for a wide range of purposes. While there is significant work that aims to understand people’s pointing behavior, t...
Article
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In this paper, we propose a cognitive semantic approach to represent part-whole relations. We base our proposal on the theory of conceptual spaces, focusing on prototypical structures in part-whole relations. Prototypical structures are not accounted for in traditional mereological formalisms. In our account, parts and wholes are represented in dis...
Article
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We present an account of semantics that is not construed as a mapping of language to the world but rather as a mapping between individual meaning spaces. The meanings of linguistic entities are established via a “meeting of minds.” The concepts in the minds of communicating individuals are modeled as convex regions in conceptual spaces. We outline...
Article
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Our aim in this article is to show how the theory of conceptual spaces can be useful in describing diachronic changes to conceptual frameworks, and thus useful in understanding conceptual change in the empirical sciences. We also compare the conceptual space approach to Moulines's typology of intertheoretical relations in the structuralist traditio...
Article
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This paper offers a novel way of reconstructing conceptual change in empirical theories. Changes occur in terms of the structure of the dimensions—that is to say, the conceptual spaces—underlying the conceptual framework within which a given theory is formulated. Five types of changes are identified: (1) addition or deletion of special laws, (2) ch...
Article
Within cognitive linguistics, the notion of domain is central. In the literature, the notion of domain has been interpreted in an all-encompassing way, which has led to conceptual confusion. The article proposes to distinguish between a more psychologically oriented description of domains based on dimensional structures, on the one hand; and merono...
Conference Paper
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Much of the discussion about shape representation during the last two decades was fundamentally related to questions about the representation of parts. Inspired by the cognitive processes governing how people represent and think about parts, we give a brief summary of our framework for representing part structures. In particular, we are interested...
Conference Paper
Categorical perception is a well studied phenomenon in, for example, colour perception, phonetics and music. In this article we implement a dynamical systems model of categorical rhythm perception based on the resonance theory of rhythm perception developed by Large (2010). This model is used to simulate the categorical choices of participants in t...
Conference Paper
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General (human) intelligence critically includes understanding human action, both action production and action recognition. Human actions also convey social signals that allow us to predict the actions of others (intent) as well as the physical and social consequences of our actions. What's more, we are able to talk about what we (and others) are d...
Data
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Actions and events are central to a semantics of natural language. In this article, we present a cognitively based model of these notions. After giving a general presentation of the theory of conceptual spaces, we explain how the analysis of perceptual concepts can be extended to actions and events. First, we argue that action space can be analyzed...