Relational Categories

Why they’re Important and How they are Learned

Dedre Gentner, Nina Simms, Kenneth J. Kurtz, Garrett Honke, Sean Snoddy, Kenneth D Forbus, Lindsey E Richland, Bryan J. Matlen, Emily M Lyons, Ellen C. Klostermann

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Research on categories has historically focused on categories whose members share intrinsic properties, such as eagle and flute. But recent work has investigated a different kind of nominal category—relational categories (Gentner, 2005; Gentner & Kurtz, 2005; Goldwater & Markman, 2011; Markman & Stilwell, 2001). By relational category we mean a category whose membership is determined by common relational structure, rather than by common intrinsic properties. For instance, for X to be a bridge, X must connect two other entities or points; for X to be a carnivore, X must eat animals. Relational categories contrast with entity categories like eagle, whose members share many intrinsic properties. Relational categories (or concepts, if we want to think about their intension) are important in cognitive life, especially in higher-order cognition. They vastly increase our capacity to communicate and reason about complex ideas and are critical to acquiring expertise in mathematical and scientific domains (Goldwater & Schalk, 2016; Richland & Simms, 2015). Thus, an understanding of how such categories are learned and used is imperative.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCogSci 2018 Proceedings
Subtitle of host publicationchanging/minds
EditorsChuck Kalish, Marina Rau, Jerry Zhu, Tim Rogers
Pages27-28
Number of pages2
StatePublished - 2018

Fingerprint

Cognition
Expertise
Animals
Higher Order
Life
Concepts

Cite this

Gentner, D., Simms, N., Kurtz, K. J., Honke, G., Snoddy, S., Forbus, K. D., ... Klostermann, E. C. (2018). Relational Categories: Why they’re Important and How they are Learned. In C. Kalish, M. Rau, J. Zhu, & T. Rogers (Eds.), CogSci 2018 Proceedings: changing/minds (pp. 27-28)
Gentner, Dedre ; Simms, Nina ; Kurtz, Kenneth J. ; Honke, Garrett ; Snoddy, Sean ; Forbus, Kenneth D ; Richland, Lindsey E ; Matlen, Bryan J. ; Lyons, Emily M ; Klostermann, Ellen C. / Relational Categories : Why they’re Important and How they are Learned. CogSci 2018 Proceedings: changing/minds. editor / Chuck Kalish ; Marina Rau ; Jerry Zhu ; Tim Rogers. 2018. pp. 27-28
@inproceedings{0e51a7604a9b4ec580a589f7d16f2940,
title = "Relational Categories: Why they’re Important and How they are Learned",
abstract = "Research on categories has historically focused on categories whose members share intrinsic properties, such as eagle and flute. But recent work has investigated a different kind of nominal category—relational categories (Gentner, 2005; Gentner & Kurtz, 2005; Goldwater & Markman, 2011; Markman & Stilwell, 2001). By relational category we mean a category whose membership is determined by common relational structure, rather than by common intrinsic properties. For instance, for X to be a bridge, X must connect two other entities or points; for X to be a carnivore, X must eat animals. Relational categories contrast with entity categories like eagle, whose members share many intrinsic properties. Relational categories (or concepts, if we want to think about their intension) are important in cognitive life, especially in higher-order cognition. They vastly increase our capacity to communicate and reason about complex ideas and are critical to acquiring expertise in mathematical and scientific domains (Goldwater & Schalk, 2016; Richland & Simms, 2015). Thus, an understanding of how such categories are learned and used is imperative.",
author = "Dedre Gentner and Nina Simms and Kurtz, {Kenneth J.} and Garrett Honke and Sean Snoddy and Forbus, {Kenneth D} and Richland, {Lindsey E} and Matlen, {Bryan J.} and Lyons, {Emily M} and Klostermann, {Ellen C.}",
note = "https://mindmodeling.org/cogsci2018/papers/0186/index.html; https://mindmodeling.org/cogsci2018/papers/0014/0014.pdf",
year = "2018",
language = "English (US)",
isbn = "978-0991196784",
pages = "27--28",
editor = "Chuck Kalish and Marina Rau and Jerry Zhu and Tim Rogers",
booktitle = "CogSci 2018 Proceedings",

}

Gentner, D, Simms, N, Kurtz, KJ, Honke, G, Snoddy, S, Forbus, KD, Richland, LE, Matlen, BJ, Lyons, EM & Klostermann, EC 2018, Relational Categories: Why they’re Important and How they are Learned. in C Kalish, M Rau, J Zhu & T Rogers (eds), CogSci 2018 Proceedings: changing/minds. pp. 27-28.

Relational Categories : Why they’re Important and How they are Learned. / Gentner, Dedre; Simms, Nina; Kurtz, Kenneth J.; Honke, Garrett; Snoddy, Sean; Forbus, Kenneth D; Richland, Lindsey E; Matlen, Bryan J.; Lyons, Emily M; Klostermann, Ellen C.

CogSci 2018 Proceedings: changing/minds. ed. / Chuck Kalish; Marina Rau; Jerry Zhu; Tim Rogers. 2018. p. 27-28.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

TY - GEN

T1 - Relational Categories

T2 - Why they’re Important and How they are Learned

AU - Gentner, Dedre

AU - Simms, Nina

AU - Kurtz, Kenneth J.

AU - Honke, Garrett

AU - Snoddy, Sean

AU - Forbus, Kenneth D

AU - Richland, Lindsey E

AU - Matlen, Bryan J.

AU - Lyons, Emily M

AU - Klostermann, Ellen C.

N1 - https://mindmodeling.org/cogsci2018/papers/0186/index.html; https://mindmodeling.org/cogsci2018/papers/0014/0014.pdf

PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - Research on categories has historically focused on categories whose members share intrinsic properties, such as eagle and flute. But recent work has investigated a different kind of nominal category—relational categories (Gentner, 2005; Gentner & Kurtz, 2005; Goldwater & Markman, 2011; Markman & Stilwell, 2001). By relational category we mean a category whose membership is determined by common relational structure, rather than by common intrinsic properties. For instance, for X to be a bridge, X must connect two other entities or points; for X to be a carnivore, X must eat animals. Relational categories contrast with entity categories like eagle, whose members share many intrinsic properties. Relational categories (or concepts, if we want to think about their intension) are important in cognitive life, especially in higher-order cognition. They vastly increase our capacity to communicate and reason about complex ideas and are critical to acquiring expertise in mathematical and scientific domains (Goldwater & Schalk, 2016; Richland & Simms, 2015). Thus, an understanding of how such categories are learned and used is imperative.

AB - Research on categories has historically focused on categories whose members share intrinsic properties, such as eagle and flute. But recent work has investigated a different kind of nominal category—relational categories (Gentner, 2005; Gentner & Kurtz, 2005; Goldwater & Markman, 2011; Markman & Stilwell, 2001). By relational category we mean a category whose membership is determined by common relational structure, rather than by common intrinsic properties. For instance, for X to be a bridge, X must connect two other entities or points; for X to be a carnivore, X must eat animals. Relational categories contrast with entity categories like eagle, whose members share many intrinsic properties. Relational categories (or concepts, if we want to think about their intension) are important in cognitive life, especially in higher-order cognition. They vastly increase our capacity to communicate and reason about complex ideas and are critical to acquiring expertise in mathematical and scientific domains (Goldwater & Schalk, 2016; Richland & Simms, 2015). Thus, an understanding of how such categories are learned and used is imperative.

M3 - Conference contribution

SN - 978-0991196784

SP - 27

EP - 28

BT - CogSci 2018 Proceedings

A2 - Kalish, Chuck

A2 - Rau, Marina

A2 - Zhu, Jerry

A2 - Rogers, Tim

ER -

Gentner D, Simms N, Kurtz KJ, Honke G, Snoddy S, Forbus KD et al. Relational Categories: Why they’re Important and How they are Learned. In Kalish C, Rau M, Zhu J, Rogers T, editors, CogSci 2018 Proceedings: changing/minds. 2018. p. 27-28