David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Noûs 41 (4):561-593 (2007)
What is a concept? Philosophers have given many different answers to this question, reflecting a wide variety of approaches to the study of mind and language. Nonetheless, at the most general level, there are two dominant frameworks in contemporary philosophy. One proposes that concepts are mental representations, while the other proposes that they are abstract objects. This paper looks at the differences between these two approaches, the prospects for combining them, and the issues that are involved in the dispute. We argue that powerful motivations have been offered in support of both frameworks. This suggests the possibility of combining the two. Unlike Frege, we hold that the resulting position is perfectly coherent and well worth considering. Nonetheless, we argue that it should be rejected along with the view that concepts are abstract objects.
|Keywords||concepts mental representations senses Frege|
|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
Frank Jackson (1998). From Metaphysics to Ethics: A Defence of Conceptual Analysis. Oxford University Press.
Jerry A. Fodor (1975). The Language of Thought. Harvard University Press.
Steven Pinker (1995). The Language Instinct. Harper Perennial.
Jerry A. Fodor (1998). Concepts: Where Cognitive Science Went Wrong. Oxford University Press.
Daniel C. Dennett (ed.) (1978). Brainstorms: Philosophical Essays on Mind and Psychology. Bradford Books.
Citations of this work BETA
Joshua Shepherd & James Justus (2015). X-Phi and Carnapian Explication. Erkenntnis 80 (2):381-402.
Helen De Cruz & Johan De Smedt (2013). Mathematical Symbols as Epistemic Actions. Synthese 190 (1):3-19.
David Liggins (forthcoming). Deflationism, Conceptual Explanation, and the Truth Asymmetry. Philosophical Quarterly:pqv063.
Eric Margolis & Stephen Laurence (2011). Learning Matters: The Role of Learning in Concept Acquisition. Mind and Language 26 (5):507-539.
Jacob Beck (2012). Do Animals Engage in Conceptual Thought? Philosophy Compass 7 (3):218-229.
Similar books and articles
Dan Ryder (2009). Problems of Representation II: Naturalizing Content. In Francisco Garzon & John Symons (eds.), Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Psychology. Routledge
Daniel A. Kaufman (2002). Composite Objects and the Abstract/Concrete Distinction. Journal of Philosophical Research 27:215-238.
Thomas Hofweber (2000). Quantification and Non-Existent Objects. In T. Hofweber & A. Everett (eds.), Empty Names, Fiction, and the Puzzles of Non-Existence. Csli Publications
David Scott (2010). Resemblance as a Principle of Representation in Descartes' Philosophy. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 84 (3):483-512.
Stephen Laurence & Eric Margolis (1999). Concepts and Cognitive Science. In Eric Margolis & Stephen Laurence (eds.), Concepts: Core Readings. MIT 3-81.
John Sutton (2004). Are Concepts Mental Representations or Abstracta? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (1):89-108.
Peter Slezak (1995). The “Philosophical” Case Against Visual Images. In P. Slezak, T. Caelli & R. Clark (eds.), Perspectives on Cognitive Science, Volume 1: Theories, Experiments, and Foundations. Ablex Publishing
Natika Newton (2001). The Role of Action Representations in the Dynamics of Embodied Cognition. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (1):58-59.
Eric Margolis & Stephen Laurence, Concepts. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Susan V. Castagnetto (1992). Reid's Answer to Abstract Ideas. Journal of Philosophical Research 17:39-60.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads250 ( #7,086 of 1,777,358 )
Recent downloads (6 months)35 ( #22,247 of 1,777,358 )
How can I increase my downloads?