Rethinking Hart: From Open Texture to Prototype Theory—Analytic Philosophy Meets Cognitive Linguistics (2020)

Rethinking Hart: From Open Texture to Prototype Theory—Analytic Philosophy Meets Cognitive Linguistics (2020)
Mateusz Zeifert
 
The article is based on an observation that there are significant and non-arbitrary similarities between two, seemingly quite distant, theories that address the problem of linguistic categorization. One is the theory of open texture put forward by a prominent legal philosopher, Herbert L.A Hart. The other is the theory of prototypes, originated from psychological research by Eleanor Rosch and developed by cognitively-oriented linguists, most notably Charles Fillmore, George Lakoff, and Ronald Langacker. Firstly, the origins of the open texture theory are presented, including the discussion of Friedrich Waismann’s and Ludwig Wittgenstein’s ideas and their impact on Hart’s theory. Secondly, Hart’s theory of open texture is examined, based on several articles and his masterpiece: The Concept of Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press 1961). Thirdly, a brief introduction to the prototype theory is provided, focusing on its reception in Cognitive Linguistics. Fourthly, a comparison of both theories is presented, including a sketch of a broader philosophical and historical background, as well as a detailed analysis of similarities and dissimilarities between them. The comparison results in a conclusion that, on linguistic grounds, the open texture theory can be viewed as an anticipation of prototype theory
 
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11196-020-09722-9

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