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  1. Richard Horsey, The Content and Acquisition of Lexical Concepts.
    This thesis aims to develop a psychologically plausible account of concepts by integrating key insights from philosophy (on the metaphysical basis for concept possession) and psychology (on the mechanisms underlying concept acquisition). I adopt an approach known as informational atomism, developed by Jerry Fodor. Informational atomism is the conjunction of two theses: (i) informational semantics, according to which conceptual content is constituted exhaustively by nomological mind–world relations; and (ii) conceptual atomism, according to which (lexical) concepts have no internal structure. I (...)
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  2. Richard Horsey (2001). Definitions: Implications for Syntax, Semantics, and the Language of Thought, by Annabel Cormack. Mind and Language 16 (3):345–349.
  3. Richard Horsey, “If Josef Kills Leon, is Leon Dead?”.
    Fodor (1975) proposed that word meanings were atomic, and that meaning relations between words could be captured by inference rules, or 'meaning postulates', linking atomic concepts. In his recent work, however, Fodor has rejected meaning postulates as a way of capturing meaning relations, because he sees no principled way of distinguishing meaning postulates from empirical knowledge. In this paper, I argue that Fodor is wrong to reject meaning postulates.
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  4. Richard Horsey (2001). Psychosemantic Analyticity. [Journal (on-Line/Unpaginated)].
    It is widely agreed that the content of a logical concept such as and is constituted by the inferences it enters into. I argue that it is impossible to draw a principled distinction between logical and non-logical concepts, and hence that the content of non-logical concepts can also be constituted by certain of their inferential relations. The traditional problem with such a view has been that, given Quine’s arguments against the analytic-synthetic distinction, there does not seem to be any way (...)
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  5. Richard Horsey (2001). Review of A. Cormack's "Definitions". [REVIEW] Philosophical Explorations 16:345-349.
    Review of Cormack, Annabel. 1998. Definitions: Implications for Syntax, Semantics, and the Language of Thought. New York: Garland.
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  6. Richard Horsey (2000). Meaning Postulates and Deference. Philosophical Explorations.
    Fodor (1998) argues that most lexical concepts have no internal structure. He rejects what he calls Inferential Role Semantics (IRS), the view that primitive concepts are constituted by their inferential relations, on the grounds that this violates the compositionality constraint and leads to an unacceptable form of holism. In rejecting IRS, Fodor must also reject meaning postulates. I argue, contra Fodor, that meaning postulates must be retained, but that when suitably constrained they are not susceptible to his arguments against IRS. (...)
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