David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Neuroethics 6 (2):237-247 (2013)
Concepts are mental representations that are the constituents of thought. EdouardMachery claims that psychologists generally understand concepts to be bodies of knowledge or information carrying mental states stored in long term memory that are used in the higher cognitive competences such as in categorization judgments, induction, planning, and analogical reasoning. While most research in the concepts field generally have been on concrete concepts such as LION, APPLE, and CHAIR, this paper will examine abstract moral concepts and whether such concepts may have prototype and exemplar structure. After discussing the philosophical importance of this project and explaining the prototype and exemplar theories, criticisms will be made against philosophers, who without experimental support from the sciences of the mind, contend that moral concepts have prototype and/or exemplar structure. Next, I will scrutinize Mark Johnson’s experimentally-based argument that moral concepts have prototype structure. Finally, I will show how our moral concepts may indeed have prototype and exemplar structure as well as explore the further ethical implications that may be reached by this particular moral concepts conclusion
|Keywords||Concepts Cognitive science Moral psychology Mental representations Ethics Thin/thick concepts|
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References found in this work BETA
Simon Blackburn (1998/2000). Ruling Passions. Oxford University Press.
Lee R. Brooks (1978). Nonanalytic Concept Formation and Memory for Instances. In Eleanor Rosch & Barbara Lloyd (eds.), Cognition and Categorization. Lawrence Elbaum Associates. 3--170.
Paul M. Churchland (1989). A Neurocomputational Perspective: The Nature of Mind and the Structure of Science. MIT Press.
Alan Donagan (1977). The Theory of Morality. University of Chicago Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Joshua May (2014). On the Very Concept of Free Will. Synthese 191 (12):2849-2866.
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