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

Structural stability is a principle of cognitive economy suggested by Dirk Geeraerts as a basic factor in prototype categorzation. According to this principle, a cognitive structure has to be stable enough to not change completely every single time it has to accommodate to new circumstances, so that can still classify new experiences in terms of stored encyclopedi knowledge. This principle should account for the ability to recognize patterns via categories despite the dynamicity of prototype categories.


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

See alsoEdit

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