Concepts and Fuzzy Logic
288 pp., 6 x 9 in, 7 figures, 6 tables
- Published: October 7, 2011
Leading researchers examine the usefulness and limitations of fuzzy logic for the psychology of concepts.
The classical view of concepts in psychology was challenged in the 1970s when experimental evidence showed that concept categories are graded and thus cannot be represented adequately by classical sets. The possibility of using fuzzy set theory and fuzzy logic for representing and dealing with concepts was recognized initially but then virtually abandoned in the early 1980s. In this volume, leading researchers—both psychologists working on concepts and mathematicians working on fuzzy logic—reassess the usefulness of fuzzy logic for the psychology of concepts.
The book begins with two tutorials—one on concepts and the other on fuzzy logic—aimed at making relevant experimental and theoretical issues accessible to researchers in both fields. The contributors then discuss the experiments that led to the rejection of the classical view of concepts; analyze the various arguments against the use of fuzzy logic in the psychology of concepts and show that they are fallacious; review methods based on sound measurement principles for constructing fuzzy sets; introduce formal concept analysis and its capabilities when generalized by using fuzzy logic; consider conceptual combinations; examine lexical concepts; and propose a research program based on cooperation between researchers in the psychology of concepts and fuzzy logic.
Concepts in Fuzzy Logic stands out as a fundamental contribution to the foundations of fuzzy logic and, in particular, to the basic problem of concept formation. Professors Klir and Belohlavek, the contributors, and MIT Press deserve a loud applause.
Lofti Zadeh, Director, Berkeley Initiative in Soft Computing (BISC), University of California, Berkeley
Thirty years ago, fuzzy set theory and cognitive science had a close relationship, centered on issues in the representation of concepts. There was a falling out, however, and each enterprise has gone its own way since. This volume attempts a rapprochement, through accessible tutorials and critical essays from each field. If the two resume a productive relationship in the future, this may well be through the efforts of the readers of this thoughtful and well-written book.
Gregory L. Murphy, Department of Psychology, New York University
The editors have assembled a diverse and stellar collection of authors to help them in bridging the interdisciplinary gap between the pyschology of concepts and theorizing in fuzzy logic. This is an important undertaking and one that is long overdue, given the as yet largely untapped potential synergy at the interface of these fields.
Gregg C. Oden, Professor Emeritus of Psychology and of Computer Science, University of Iowa