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Academic Paper

Title: Vantage Theory in Outline
Paper URL:
Author: Robert E. MacLaury
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Pennsylvania
Linguistic Field: Cognitive Science
Abstract: Vantage theory is a model of categorization. Precisely, it is a model of the method that a person employs to construct any category, to use it, to change it, or merely to recall it from memory. One method enables all these processes. The method is implemented by forming a special sort of analogy. The analogy is not of the conscious, creative kind, as with "an atom is like a tiny solar system." Rather, it is deeply unconscious and wholly automatic, such that a/L/person can form multiple categories in rapid succession, as quickly as he needs them to think or speak. (Probably the analogy is neurally expedited and probably it was a critical ingredient in human cognitive evolution, although these topics can wait.) The analogy pertains between the method by which a person reckons his own position in space-time and the categorizing method,/L/that is, the latter target is derived by equation from the former source. While the former ability applies specifically to negotiating physical terrain and events that occur within it, the latter ability applies generally to categorizing any experience whatsoever--real or imagined, concrete/L/or abstract. Later we shall itemize what carries over via analogy from space-time to categorization, such as a pervasive likening of similarity to distance, points of view, and other embodiments.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed

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