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Concepts Don't Work That Way

A fairly influential philosopher named "Wittgenstein" made essentially this critique 70 years ago. Many philosophers still do conceptual analysis in terms of necessary and sufficient conditions, but few think the project will ever work perfectly for any natural language terms (though a 99% accurate categorization rate is often completely realistic even with only a few conditions). Even fewer think this is the way the brain learns and stores concepts.

Prototype theory is a much better theory of how we learn concepts, but it doesn't lend itself... (read more)