Foundations of Science

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 493–510 | Cite as

Points of View: A Conceptual Space Approach

  • Antti HautamäkiEmail author


Points of view are a central phenomenon in human cognition. Although the concept of point of view is ambiguous, there exist common elements in different notions. A point of view is a certain way to look at things around us. In conceptual points of view, things are looked at or interpreted through conceptual lenses. Conceptual points of view are important for epistemology, cognitive science, and philosophy of science. In this article, a new method to formalize conceptual points of view is introduced. It is based on the conceptual space approach, where concepts are regions of multi-dimensional quality spaces. Points of view, as defined in this article, consist of a selection of relevant dimensions, referred to here as determinables, and of a certain supposition, referred to here as a theory, about the subject content. After considering some early efforts to formalize points of view, the notion of conceptual space is defined and explored. One concept of point of view is defined and developed in the framework of conceptual space, and a new logic for points of view is also outlined. The problem of mind–body correlation is discussed as an example of the application of the notion of points of view. To conclude, the meaning and applications of the new concepts and tools developed in the article are discussed.


Conceptual space Points of view Logic Determinables 



I would like to thank Ph.D. student Anis Boubaker, assistant professor Juan Colomina, professor Mauri Kaipainen, and professor Manuel Liz for their comments to an earlier version of this article.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Agora CenterUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland
  2. 2.The Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and ArtsUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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