David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Dissertation, University of Turku (2008)
In this thesis I argue that the psychological study of concepts and categorisation, and the philosophical study of reference are deeply intertwined. I propose that semantic intuitions are a variety of categorisation judgements, determined by concepts, and that because of this, concepts determine reference. I defend a dual theory of natural kind concepts, according to which natural kind concepts have distinct semantic cores and non-semantic identification procedures. Drawing on psychological essentialism, I suggest that the cores consist of externalistic placeholder essence beliefs. The identification procedures, in turn, consist of prototypes, sets of exemplars, or possibly also theory-structured beliefs. I argue that the dual theory is motivated both by experimental data and theoretical considerations. The thesis consists of three interrelated articles. Article I examines philosophical causal and description theories of natural kind term reference, and argues that they involve, or need to involve, certain psychological elements. I propose a unified theory of natural kind term reference, built on the psychology of concepts. Article II presents two semantic adaptations of psychological essentialism, one of which is a strict externalistic Kripkean-Putnamian theory, while the other is a hybrid account, according to which natural kind terms are ambiguous between internalistic and externalistic senses. We present two experiments, the results of which support the strict externalistic theory. Article III examines Fodor’s influential atomistic theory of concepts, according to which no psychological capacities associated with concepts constitute them, or are necessary for reference. I argue, contra Fodor, that the psychological mechanisms are necessary for reference.
|Keywords||Theories of reference Psychology of concepts Semantic externalism Semantic internalism Causal theory of reference Description theory of reference Psychological essentialism Informational semantics Concept atomism|
|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
Jussi Jylkkä (2011). Hybrid Extensional Prototype Compositionality. Minds and Machines 21 (1):41-56.
Similar books and articles
Howard Sankey (1991). Feyerabend and the Description Theory of Reference. Journal of Philosophical Research 16:223-232.
Jussi Jylkkä (2008). Theories of Natural Kind Term Reference and Empirical Psychology. Philosophical Studies 139 (2):153-169.
Jussi Jylkk (2009). Psychological Essentialism and Semantic Externalism: Evidence for Externalism in Lay Speakers' Language Use. Philosophical Psychology 22 (1):37 – 60.
Jussi Jylkkä (2009). Why Fodor's Theory of Concepts Fails. Minds and Machines 19 (1):25-46.
Jussi Haukioja (2009). Intuitions, Externalism, and Conceptual Analysis. Studia Philosophica Estonica 2 (2):81-93.
Ingo Brigandt (2004). Biological Kinds and the Causal Theory of Reference. In J. C. Marek & M. E. Reicher (eds.), Experience and Analysis: Papers of the 27th International Wittgenstein Symposium. Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society
James Genone & Tania Lombrozo (2012). Concept Possession, Experimental Semantics, and Hybrid Theories of Reference. Philosophical Psychology 25 (5):1-26.
Linda Zagzebski (2010). Exemplarist Virtue Theory. Metaphilosophy 41 (1):41-57.
Added to index2009-02-19
Total downloads328 ( #3,548 of 1,780,099 )
Recent downloads (6 months)48 ( #16,049 of 1,780,099 )
How can I increase my downloads?