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Extension

The extension of a concept is the object(s) which are referred to by a word or concept, as opposed to the sense in which the object(s) is indicated.

Explanation

‘Extension’ is not a word which Vygotsky used, but the concept is implied when he says of the pseudoconcept that

“We call this complex a pseudoconcept because it has strong external similarities to the concept that we find in the adult’s intellectual activity. However, in its essence, in accordance with its true psychological nature, it is very different from the true concept.
“A careful study ... demonstrates that this form of generalization is a complexive unification of a series of concrete objects. Phenotypically, on the basis of its external appearance and external characteristics, the pseudoconcept corresponds completely to the concept.” (LSVCW v. 1, p. 142)

That is, the true concept and the pseudoconcept indicated by the same word have the same extension, but have a radically different sense.

Sometimes “reference” is used instead of “extension,” but it is more common to use “extension” when a generalised category of objects rather than an individual object is intended.

See Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sense_and_reference

-- AndyBlunden - 15 Nov 2013

Commentary

Topic revision: r4 - 20 Nov 2013, AndyBlunden
 

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