The origins of concepts

Philosophical Studies 140 (3):359 - 384 (2008)
Abstract
Certain of our concepts are innate, but many others are learned. Despite the plausibility of this claim, some have argued that the very idea of concept learning is incoherent. I present a conception of learning that sidesteps the arguments against the possibility of concept learning, and sketch several mechanisms that result in the generation of new primitive concepts. Given the rational considerations that motivate their deployment, I argue that these deserve to be called learning mechanisms. I conclude by replying to the objections that these mechanisms cannot produce genuinely new content and cannot be part of genuinely cognitive explanations
Keywords Concepts  Learning  Acquisition  Nativism  Innateness  Language of thought
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References found in this work BETA
Louise M. Antony (2001). Empty Heads? Mind and Language 16 (2):193-214.
Lawrence W. Barsalou (1999). Perceptual Symbol Systems. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (4):577-660.
Peter Carruthers (2002). The Cognitive Functions of Language. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (6):657-674.

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Citations of this work BETA
Daniel A. Weiskopf (2008). First Thoughts. Philosophical Psychology 21 (2):251 – 268.
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