Atomism, pluralism, and conceptual content

Conceptual atomists argue that most of our concepts are primitive. I take up three arguments that have been thought to support atomism and show that they are inconclusive. The evidence that allegedly backs atomism is equally compatible with a localist position on which concepts are structured representations with complex semantic content. I lay out such a localist position and argue that the appropriate position for a non-atomist to adopt is a pluralist view of conceptual structure. I show several ways in which conceptual pluralism provides an advantage in satisfying the empirical and philosophical demands on a theory of conceptual structure and content
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DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2009.00269.x
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Daniel A. Weiskopf (2008). First Thoughts. Philosophical Psychology 21 (2):251 – 268.
Daniel A. Weiskopf (2010). The Theoretical Indispensability of Concepts. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (2-3):228 - 229.
Collin Rice (2014). Concepts as Pluralistic Hybrids. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (3):n/a-n/a.

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