Cognitive Theories of Concepts and Wittgenstein’s Rule-Following: Concept Updating, Category Extension, and Referring

International Journal of Semiotics and Visual Rhetoric 5 (1):15-27 (2021)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In this article, the authors try to answer the following questions: How can an object/instance seen for the first time extend a category or update a concept? How is it possible to determine the reference of a concept that represents a behaviour? In the first case, the authors discuss the learning of inferential linguistic competence used to update a concept through an approach based on prototype theory. In the second case, the authors discuss the learning of referential linguistic competence used to determine the reference of a concept (i.e., determination of an actual behaviour) through an approach based on embodied cognition. The authors show how combining prototype-based and embodied categorization in Wittgenstein’s rule-following praxis (the individual and community dimension), linguistic learning of a concept (inferential competence), and determination of its reference (referential competence) can be traced back to the same model. Keywords Action, Categorization, Embodied Cognition, Embodiment, Linguistic Inferential Competence, Linguistic Referential Competence, Perception, Prototype Theory, Reference, Sign.

Author Profiles

Marco Cruciani
University of Niccolò Cusano, Roma
Francesco Gagliardi
University of Toronto, St. George Campus


Added to PP

76 (#67,562)

6 months
76 (#92,458)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?