The structure of lexical concepts

Philosophical Studies 150 (3):349 - 372 (2010)
Jerry Fodor (Concepts: Where cognitive science went wrong. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998) famously argued that lexical concepts are unstructured. After examining the advantages and disadvantages of both the classical approach to concepts and Fodor's conceptual atomism, I argue that some lexical concepts are, in fact, structured. Roughly stated, I argue that structured lexical concepts bear a necessary biconditional entailment relation to their structural constituents. I develop this account of the structure of lexical concepts within the framework of Pavel Tichy's (The foundations of Frege's logic. Berlin, New York: De Gruyter, 1988) theory of constructions. I argue that concepts are constructions which can be combined by way of Tichy's construction-forming operations of composition and closure and an additional operation, simplification, which I propose in section 6. The last of these construction-forming operations plays a central role in my account of lexical concept structure. Stated generally, structured lexical concepts are a result of simplifying their structural constituents
Keywords Concepts  Lexical concepts  Structure  Constructions  Fodor  Definitions  Atomism
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DOI 10.2307/40856562
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References found in this work BETA
Willard V. O. Quine (1951). Two Dogmas of Empiricism. Philosophical Review 60 (1):20–43.

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Pavel Materna (2013). Simple Concepts. Acta Analytica 28 (3):295-319.

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