Graduate studies at Western
Philosophical Studies 150 (3):349 - 372 (2010)
|Abstract||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|
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