The emergence of abstract ideas: evidence from networks and babies.

@article{Colunga2003TheEO,
  title={The emergence of abstract ideas: evidence from networks and babies.},
  author={Eliana Colunga and Linda B. Smith},
  journal={Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences},
  year={2003},
  volume={358 1435},
  pages={1205-14}
}
What is abstraction? In our view, abstraction is generalization. Specifically, we propose that abstract concepts emerge as the natural product of associative learning and generalization by similarity. We support this proposal by presenting evidence for two ideas: first, that children's knowledge about how categories are organized and how words refer to them can be explained as learned generalizations over specific experiences of words referring to categories; and second, that the path of… CONTINUE READING
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