Philosophy

PPIG: Philosophy, Psychology, and Informatics Group

Speaker: Lieven Decock (Free University Amsterdam)

Title: Varieties of conceptual change: the evolution of colour concepts

Abstract: I analyze the evolution of color concepts from an engineering perspective. I argue that continuous but slow conceptual change is ubiquitous, that conceptual change often results in an optimization of our conceptual structure, that conceptual change often results from intentional changes, but that in very few cases there can be genuine planning and controlled implementation. Conceptual change of color concepts can best be viewed as an evolutionary process, in which there can be random change (drift), unplanned optimization (adaption), and intentionally designed but uncontrolled amelioration (reform) and intentionally designed fully controlled optimization (engineering). I point out that this view of conceptual change with varying degrees of optimization, design and control can be generalized to other classes of concepts. This picture of conceptual change will reduce the scope of conceptual engineering considerably; conceptual engineering appears as a limit case of conceptual change in which there is complete optimization based on deliberate intentions and under full control.

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Contact details

Dr Alistair Isaac

Oct 09 2019 -

PPIG: Philosophy, Psychology, and Informatics Group

2019-10-09: Varieties of conceptual change: the evolution of colour concepts

Room 1.20, Dugald Stewart Building, 3 Charles Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9AD