David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
This paper presents the lineaments of a new account of concepts. The foundations of the account are four ideas taken from recent cognitive science, though most of them have important philosophical precursors. The first is the idea that human conceptuality shares important continuities with psychological faculties of other animals, and indeed that there is a well-distinguished hierarchy of such faculties that extend up and down the phylogenetic scale. While it would very likely be a mistake to look at some conglomeration of these simpler abilities and assert that we have produced a reductive account of human conceptuality, an examination of these will lend insights into essential features of human conceptuality in a non-reductive, non-exhaustive manner. The second idea is that an important function of both human concepts and of their protoconceptual ancestors in the animal kingdom is to make distinctions or discriminations. We shall thus look at the human conceptual apparatus as being, in large part, a discrimination engine. How are these discriminations realized in humans and other beings? Presumably, some discriminative mechanisms are innate, while others are acquired through learning. But how is learning accomplished? The third idea from cognitive science is that adaptive discrimination is realized through neural networks, and that the properties of this realizing system explains familiar features of human thought that seem puzzling when viewed through other lenses, such as the logical analysis of language. The fourth and
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
Daniel A. Weiskopf (2008). The Origins of Concepts. Philosophical Studies 140 (3):359 - 384.
Gary B. Herbert (2005). On the Misconceived Genealogy of Human Rights. Social Philosophy Today 21:17-32.
Jerry A. Fodor (1998). Concepts: Where Cognitive Science Went Wrong. Oxford University Press.
Stephen Laurence & Eric Margolis (1999). Concepts and Cognitive Science. In Eric Margolis & Stephen Laurence (eds.), Concepts: Core Readings. MIT. 3-81.
Grant Gillett (1991). Language, Social Ecology and Experience. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 5 (3):195 – 203.
Elizabeth S. Spelke (2011). Natural Number and Natural Geometry. In Stanislas Dehaene & Elizabeth Brannon (eds.), Space, Time and Number in the Brain. Oxford University Press. 287--317.
Colin Allen (1999). Animal Concepts Revisited: The Use of Self-Monitoring as an Empirical Approach. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 51 (1):537-544.
Peter Baumann (2007). Persons, Human Beings, and Respect. Polish Journal of Philosophy 1 (2):5-17.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads103 ( #16,407 of 1,696,250 )
Recent downloads (6 months)51 ( #3,505 of 1,696,250 )
How can I increase my downloads?