Encyclopedia > Categorization

  Article Content


The classical view claims that categories are discrete entities characterized by a set of criterial properties which are shared by their members. These are assumed to establish the conditions which are both necessary and sufficient to capture meaning.

A cognitive approach accepts the fact that natural categories tend to be fuzzy at their boundaries and inconsistent in the status of their constituent members.

see: Prototype, Semantics

Systems of categories are not objectively "out there" in the world but are rooted in people's experience. Conceptual categories are not identical for every speaker of the language.

Categories form part of a hierarchical structure when applied to such subjects as biological classification: higher level: life-form level, middle level: generic or genus level, and lower level: the species level. These can be distinguished by certain traits that put an item in its distinctive category. But even these can be arbitrary and are subject to revision.

Categories at the middle level are perceptually and conceptually the more salient. The generic level of a category tends to elicit the most responses and richest images and seems to be the psychologically basic level.

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
  Featured Article
Canadian Music Hall of Fame

... 1987 The Guess Who[?] 1989 The Band 1990 Maureen Forrester[?] 1991 Leonard Cohen 1992 Ian and Sylvia[?] 1993 Anne Murray 1994 Rush 1995 Buffy Sainte-Marie[?] ...

This page was created in 36.6 ms