This page is part of the ongoing
Project Categorization
Aristotelian category
Category boundaries
Levels of categorization
Basic level
Category-wide attribute
Collective function
Subordinate level
Superordinate level
Parasitic categorization
Prototype category
Bad member
Degree of membership
Flexible adaptability
Goodness of exemplar
Good member
Informational density
Radial structure
Structural stability
Class inclusion
Degree of generality
Expert taxonomy
Folk taxonomy
Multiple parenting
Scientific taxonomy

Flexible adaptability is a principle of cognitive economy, posed by Dirk Geeraerts as a primary feature of prototype categorization. According to this principle a cognitive structure also be flexible enough to keep up with the constantly changing states of affairs in the surrounding world. This principle should account for the dynamism of human categorization which allows humans to allow us to learn new things, thus constantly reshaping cognitive structures.


  • Geeraerts, Dirk (1997). Diachronic Prototype Semantics: a Contribution to Historical Lexicology. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

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