David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
OUP Oxford (2010)
Human adults appear different from other animals in their ability to form abstract mental representations that go beyond perceptual similarity. In short, they can conceptualize the world. This apparent uniqueness leads to an immediate puzzle: WHEN and HOW does this abstract system come into being? To answer this question we need to explore the origins of adult concepts, both developmentally and phylogenetically; When does the developing child acquire the ability to use abstract concepts? Does the transition occur around 2 years, with the onset of symbolic representation and language? Or, is it independent of the emergence of language? When in evolutionary history did an abstract representational system emerge? Is there something unique about the human brain? How would a computational system operating on the basis of perceptual associations develop into a system operating on the basis of abstract relations? Is this ability present in other species, but masked by their inability to verbalise abstractions? Perhaps the very notion of concepts is empty and should be done away with altogether. This book tackles the age-old puzzle of what might be unique about human concepts. Intuitively, we have a sense that our thoughts are somehow different from those of animals and young children such as infants. Yet, if true, this raises the question of where and how this uniqueness arises. What are the factors that have played out during the life course of the individual and over the evolution of humans that have contributed to the emergence of this apparently unique ability? This volume brings together a collection of world specialists who have grappled with these questions from different perspectives to try to resolve the issue. It includes contributions from leading psychologists, neuroscientists, child and infant specialists, and animal cognition specialists. Taken together, this story leads to the idea that there is no unique ingredient in the emergence of human concepts, but rather a powerful and potentially unique mix of biological abilities and personal and social history that has led to where the human mind now stands. A 'must-read' for students and researchers in the cognitive sciences.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
|Buy the book||$8.66 used (88% off) $55.39 new (21% off) $66.45 direct from Amazon (6% off) Amazon page|
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
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.
Stanislas Dehaene, Elizabeth Spelke & Lisa Feigenson (2004). Core Systems of Number. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 8 (7):307-314.
Katja Wiemer-Hastings & Arthur C. Graesser (1999). Perceiving Abstract Concepts. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (4):635-636.
Omar Lizardo (2013). Re‐Conceptualizing Abstract Conceptualization in Social Theory: The Case of the “Structure” Concept. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 43 (2):155-180.
Vittorio Gallese & George Lakoff, The Brain's Concepts: The Role of the Sensory-Motor System in Conceptual Knowledge.
Philip R. Loockvane (ed.) (1999). The Nature of Concepts: Evolution, Structure, and Representation. Routledge.
Susan Carey (2009). The Origin of Concepts. Oxford University Press.
Colin Allen (1999). Animal Concepts Revisited: The Use of Self-Monitoring as an Empirical Approach. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 51 (1):537-544.
Marc D. Hauser & Elizabeth Spelke (2004). Evolutionary and Developmental Foundations of Human Knowledge. In Michael S. Gazzaniga (ed.), The Cognitive Neurosciences Iii. Mit Press.
Michael Tomasello, Malinda Carpenter, Josep Call, Tanya Behne & Henrike Moll (2005). Understanding and Sharing Intentions: The Origins of Cultural Cognition. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (5):675-691.
Michael Tomasello, Malinda Carpenter, Josep Call, Tanya Behne & Henrike Moll (2005). In Search of the Uniquely Human. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (5):721-727.
Frank C. Keil (2008). Space—the Primal Frontier? Spatial Cognition and the Origins of Concepts. Philosophical Psychology 21 (2):241 – 250.
Added to index2012-01-31
Total downloads2 ( #345,485 of 1,098,955 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #287,052 of 1,098,955 )
How can I increase my downloads?