© 2015

Applications of Conceptual Spaces

The Case for Geometric Knowledge Representation

  • Frank Zenker
  • Peter Gärdenfors


  • Offers the first overview of applications of the conceptual spaces theory

  • Comprises contributions from various academic fields

  • Contains a concise introduction to the conceptual spaces theory, making the book’s content accessible to novices?


Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 359)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Peter Gärdenfors, Frank Zenker
      Pages 3-13
  3. Semantic Spaces

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 15-15
    2. Jean-Louis Dessalles
      Pages 17-31
    3. Massimo Warglien, Peter Gärdenfors
      Pages 79-94
  4. Computing Meanings

  5. Philosophical Perspectives

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 205-205
    2. Lieven Decock, Igor Douven
      Pages 207-221
    3. Mauri Kaipainen, Antti Hautamäki
      Pages 245-258

About this book


This volume provides an overview of applications of conceptual spaces theory, beginning with an introduction to the modeling tool that unifies the chapters. The first section explores issues of linguistic semantics, including speakers’ negotiation of meaning. Further sections address computational and ontological aspects of constructing conceptual spaces, while the final section looks at philosophical applications. Domains include artificial intelligence and robotics, epistemology and philosophy of science, lexical semantics and pragmatics, agent-based simulation, perspectivism, framing, contrast, sensory modalities, and music, among others.

This collection provides evidence of the wide application range of this theory of knowledge representation. The papers in this volume derive from international experts across different fields including philosophy, cognitive science, linguistics, robotics, computer science and geography. Each contributor has successfully applied conceptual spaces theory as a modeling tool in their respective areas of expertise. Graduates as well as researchers in the areas of epistemology, linguistics, geometric knowledge representation, and the mathematical modeling of cognitive processes should find this book of particular interest.


Conceptual Spaces Theory Conceptual Spaces and Predicates Conceptual spaces as philosophers’ tools Ontology of Conceptual Space Structures artificial intelligence classical mechanics conceptual space geometric knowledge representation quantum mechanics radical theory change special relativity theory structural realism

Editors and affiliations

  • Frank Zenker
    • 1
  • Peter Gärdenfors
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and Cognitive ScienceLund UniversityLundSweden
  2. 2.Department of Philosophy and Cognitive ScienceLund UniversityLundSweden

About the editors

Peter Gärdenfors is a professor of cognitive science at Lund University, Sweden. He is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities and recipient of the Gad Rausing Prize. Internationally, he is one of Sweden's most notable philosophers. In 2009, he was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Frank Zenker is a researcher in philosophy at Lund University, Sweden, funded by the Swedish Research Council. Having obtained his doctorate in philosophy of science at the University of Hamburg, Germany, he has worked with Peter Gärdenfors on applying conceptual spaces to theory-dynamical processes in the empirical sciences. He is the editor of “Bayesian Argumentation” (Synthese Library Vol 362, 2013).

Bibliographic information