David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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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|
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Jerry A. Fodor (1975). The Language of Thought. Harvard University Press.
W. V. Quine (1960). Word and Object. The MIT Press.
Jerry A. Fodor (1987). Psychosemantics: The Problem of Meaning in the Philosophy of Mind. MIT Press.
Daniel C. Dennett (1978). Brainstorms. MIT Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Helen De Cruz & Johan De Smedt (2013). Mathematical Symbols as Epistemic Actions. Synthese 190 (1):3-19.
Joshua Shepherd & James Justus (2015). X-Phi and Carnapian Explication. Erkenntnis 80 (2):381-402.
David Liggins (2016). Deflationism, Conceptual Explanation, and the Truth Asymmetry. Philosophical Quarterly 66 (262):84-101.
Eric Margolis & Stephen Laurence (2011). Learning Matters: The Role of Learning in Concept Acquisition. Mind and Language 26 (5):507-539.
Nicoletta Orlandi (2011). Ambiguous Figures and Representationalism. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 10 (3):307-323.
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