The world is full of "individuals" - my cell phone, the tree outside my window, and the squirrel sitting above the dumpster, etc. How do we conceptualize "individuals" in the world? Does the mind impose some kind of structure onto the world? If so, does language affect this mental structure?
My research focuses on two different ways that "individuals" are conceptualized: as members of a set (this tree and that tree = two trees), and as members of a kind (e.g., the tree outside my window and the tree outside my office are represented as members of the kind TREE). I'm interested in the kind of representations we can build out of representations of individuals, and in how we acquire language to talk about individuals, sets of individuals, and kind.
Although my research falls under Psychology, I'm also interested in the semantics of numerals and nouns, and in philosophical issues concerning reference.
You can contact me at cheung dot pierina at gmail dot com.