Eleanor Rosch
Table of contents

Categorization, the process by which distinguishable objects or events are treated equivalently, is an inherently pragmatic function, an act of the body, speech, or mind. It is one of the most basic functions of living creatures. Humans live in a categorized world; from household items to emotions to gender to democracy, objects and events, although unique, are acted towards as members of classes. Three basic questions have dominated categorization research: why do we have the particular categories that we do and not others; how are categories acquired, stored, and used; and what is the relation between categories in the mind and the objects, cultural forms, and contingencies in the world?

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