David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Erkenntnis 69 (2):145 - 164 (2008)
Advocates of sortal essentialism have argued that concepts like “thing” or “object” lack the unambiguous individuative criteria necessary to play the role of genuine sortals in reference. Instead, they function as “dummy sortals” which are placeholders or incomplete designations. In disqualifying apparent placeholder sortals, however, these philosophers have posed insuperable problems for accounts of childhood conceptual development. I argue that recent evidence in psychology demonstrates that children do possess simple or basic sortals of physical objects or things. I contend that these concepts provide the genuine individuative criteria necessary for reference. As a consequence, sortalism can be made compatible with the developmental facts of conceptual development.
|Keywords||Sortals Concepts Conceptual development Bare particulars|
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References found in this work BETA
Jerry A. Fodor (1981). Representations: Philosophical Essays on the Foundations of Cognitive Science. MIT Press.
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Elizabeth S. Spelke (1990). Principles of Object Perception. Cognitive Science 14 (1):29--56.
Fiona Cowie (1999). What's Within? Nativism Reconsidered. Oxford University Press.
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Citations of this work BETA
Troy T. Catterson (2015). Sorting Out the Sortals: A Fregean Argument for Essentialism. Erkenntnis 80 (1):137-157.
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