David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Theoria-Revista De Teoria Historia y Fundamentos De La Ciencia 20 (3):287-297 (2005)
Language acquisition is often said to be a process of mapping words into pre-existing concepts. Some researchers regard this theory as an immediate corollary of the assumption that all problem-solving involves the application of concepts. But in light of basic philosophical objections to the theory of language acquisition, that kind of rationale cannot be very persuasive. To have a reason to accept the theory of language acquisition despite the philosophical objections, we ought to have experimental evidence for the existence of concepts in prelinguistic children. One of the few lines of research that attempts to provide such evidence is the work of Paul Quinn, who claims that looking-time results show that four-month old infants form "category representations". This paper argues that Quinn's results have an alternative explanation. A distinction is drawn between conceptual thought and the perception of comparative similarity relations, and it is argued that Quinn's results can be explained in terms of the latter rather than the former.
|Keywords||Acquisition Concept Language Learning Metaphysics Similarity|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
John Sarnecki (2006). Retracing Our Steps: Fodor's New Old Way with Concept Acquisition. [REVIEW] Acta Analytica 21 (40):41-73.
Sandra Waxman & William Thompson (1998). Words Are Invitations to Learn About Categories. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (1):88-88.
Christopher Gauker (2011). Words and Images: An Essay on the Origin of Ideas. Oxford University Press.
Christopher Gauker (2007). A Critique of the Similarity Space Theory of Concepts. Mind and Language 22 (4):317–345.
Peter Robinson (2005). Rules and Similarity Processes in Artificial Grammar and Natural Second Language Learning: What is the “Default”? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (1):32-33.
Niko Scharer (1998). Can Mere Phonemes Be Components of Millikan's Substance Concepts? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (1):83-84.
Eric Margolis & Stephen Laurence (2011). Learning Matters: The Role of Learning in Concept Acquisition. Mind and Language 26 (5):507-539.
Christopher Gauker (2005). On the Evidence for Prelinguistic Concepts. Theoria 20 (3):287-297.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads25 ( #69,510 of 1,101,678 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #116,934 of 1,101,678 )
How can I increase my downloads?