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Summary Inferential theories of concepts hold that they are individuated by reference to their relationships with other concepts. These may be causal, functional, computational, inferential, or associative. So a concept such as PLUS is individuated by the fact that it plays the appropriate role in inferences concerning addition, and a concept such as WATER is individuated by its reference to concepts such as CLEAR, DRINKABLE, and LIQUID. Localistic inferential theories hold that only a small number of these inferences are needed to individuate a concept; holistic inferential theories hold that a concept is individuated by many or all of the inferences that it can participate in.
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  1. Concept Diagrams and the Context Principle.Jens Lemanski - 2020 - In Language, Logic, and Mathematics in Schopenhauer. Cham, Schweiz: pp. 47-73.
    What is the primacy of logic? Concepts, judgments, or inferences? Whereas representationalists traditionally argue for a primacy of the conceptual, rationalists, referring to the context principle and the use theory of meaning, consider judgments and inferences to be primary. This dispute also seems to be applicable to logic diagrams: Whereas “Euler-type diagrams” are actually only for judgments and inferences, “concept diagrams” represent ontologies by using concepts. With reference to Schopenhauer, the paper develops a position called “rational representationalism.” According to this (...)
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  2. Von Grund zu Grund. Zum Zusammenhang von Denken und Wissen bei Wilfrid Sellars.Anke Breunig - 2019 - Paderborn: mentis.
    Foundationalism about intentionality parallels foundationalism about epistemic justification. Reassessing Sellars’s attack on the Myth of the Given, the author argues that both views are inadequate, and for similar reasons. She explores the relation between meaning and knowledge, develops a new argument against the Given, and sketches how Sellars and Carnap perform the linguistic turn differently. -/- Wie ist Wissen begründet? Wie bezieht sich Geist auf die Welt? Nach der hier ausgearbeiteten neuen Interpretation von Wilfrid Sellars’ Kritik am „Mythos des Gegebenen“ (...)
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  3. What Frege Asked Alex the Parrot: Inferentialism, Number Concepts, and Animal Cognition.Erik Nelson - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 33 (2):206-227.
    While there has been significant philosophical debate on whether nonlinguistic animals can possess conceptual capabilities, less time has been devoted to considering 'talking' animals, such as parrots. When they are discussed, their capabilities are often downplayed as mere mimicry. The most explicit philosophical example of this can be seen in Brandom's frequent comparisons of parrots and thermostats. Brandom argues that because parrots (like thermostats) cannot grasp the implicit inferential connections between concepts, their vocal articulations do not actually have any conceptual (...)
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  4. Sellars and Frege on Concepts and Laws.Danielle Macbeth - 2018 - In Luca Corti & Antonio Nunziante (eds.), Sellars and the History of Modern Philosophy. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 138-156.
  5. The Revisionist’s Rubric: Conceptual Engineering and the Discontinuity Objection.Michael Prinzing - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (8):854-880.
    ABSTRACTThis paper is about conceptual engineering. Specifically, it discusses a common objection to CE, which I call the Discontinuity Objection. According to the Discontinuity Objection, CE leads to problematic discontinuities in subject and/or inquiry – making it philosophically uninteresting or irrelevant. I argue that a conceptual engineer can dismiss the Discontinuity Objection by showing that the pre-engineering concept persists through the proposed changes. In other words, the Discontinuity Objection does not apply if the proposal involves identity-preserving changes. Two existing views (...)
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  6. Conceptual Role Semantics and Rationality.Bradley Rives - 2018 - Acta Analytica 33 (2):271-289.
    Conceptual role semanticists argue that concepts are individuated in terms of their roles in cognition. Some prominent conceptual role semanticists argue for the further claim that concepts are individuated in terms of their rational roles in cognition. This further claim places substantive normative constraints on concept-constitutive roles. I argue that conceptual role semanticists can and should resist the claim that conceptual roles must be specified in inherently normative terms.
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  7. James of Viterbo's Innatist Theory of Cognition.Jean-Luc Solere - 2018 - In A Companion to James of Viterbo. Leiden, Netherlands: pp. 168-217.
    James of Viterbio is one of the rare medieval authors to sustain a thoroughly innatist philosophy. He borrows from Simplicius the notion of idoneitas (aptitude, predisposition) so as to ground a cognition theory in which external things are not the efficient and formal causes of mental acts. A predisposition has the characteristic of being halfway between potentiality and actuality. Therefore, the subject that has predispositions does not need to be acted upon by another thing to actualize them. External things only (...)
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  8. Dual Character Concepts in Social Cognition: Commitments and the Normative Dimension of Conceptual Representation.Del Pinal Guillermo & Reuter Kevin - 2017 - Cognitive Science 41 (S3):477–501.
    The concepts expressed by social role terms such as artist and scientist are unique in that they seem to allow two independent criteria for categorization, one of which is inherently normative. This study presents and tests an account of the content and structure of the normative dimension of these “dual character concepts.” Experiment 1 suggests that the normative dimension of a social role concept represents the commitment to fulfill the idealized basic function associated with the role. Background information can affect (...)
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  9. Two Constraints on a Theory of Concepts.Andrea Onofri - 2016 - Dialectica 70 (1):3-27.
    Two general principles have played a crucial role in the recent debate on concepts. On the one hand, we want to allow different subjects to have the same concepts, thus accounting for concept publicity: concepts are ‘the sort of thing that people can, and do, share’. On the other hand, a subject who finds herself in a so-called ‘Frege case’ appears to have different concepts for the same object: for instance, Lois Lane has two distinct concepts SUPERMAN and CLARK KENT (...)
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  10. The Delocalized Mind. Judgements, Vehicles, and Persons.Pierre Steiner - 2014 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 13 (3):1-24.
    Drawing on various resources and requirements (as expressed by Dewey, Wittgenstein, Sellars, and Brandom), this paper proposes an externalist view of conceptual mental episodes that does not equate them, even partially, with vehicles of any sort, whether the vehicles be located in the environment or in the head. The social and pragmatic nature of the use of concepts and conceptual content makes it unnecessary and indeed impossible to locate the entities that realize conceptual mental episodes in non-personal or subpersonal contentful (...)
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  11. Pensamientos de primer orden.Mariela Aguilera - 2013 - Critica 45 (133):55-81.
    Uno de los argumentos en favor de la dependencia entre lenguaje y conceptos descansa en la premisa de que la posesión de conceptos involucra pensamientos de segundo orden y éstos, a su vez, requieren lenguaje. Este trabajo se centra en una variante de este argumento formulada por José Luis Bermúdez. Sostendré que aun cuando el pensamiento de segundo orden suponga competencia lingüística, no es necesario aceptar esa premisa. Propondré, en cambio, dos condiciones alternativas para la posesión de conceptos, la identificación (...)
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  12. Conceiving of Conscious States.Christopher Peacocke - 2012 - In J. Ellis & D. Guevara (eds.), Wittgenstein and the Philosophy of Mind. Oxford University Press.
    For a wide range of concepts, a thinker’s understanding of what it is for a thing to fall under the concept plausibly involves knowledge of an identity. It involves knowledge that the thing has to have the same property as is exemplified in instantiation of the concept in some distinguished, basic instance. This paper addresses the question: can we apply this general model of the role of identity in understanding to the case of subjective, conscious states? In particular, can we (...)
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  13. Boundless Thought. The Case of Conceptual Mental Episodes.Pierre Steiner - 2012 - Manuscrito 35 (2):269-309.
    I present and defend here a thesis named vehicleless externalism for conceptual mental episodes. According to it, the constitutive relations there are between the production of conceptual mental episodes by an individual and the inclusion of this individual in social discursive practices make it non-necessary to equate, even partially, conceptual mental episodes with the occurrence of physical events inside of that individual. Conceptual mental episodes do not have subpersonal vehicles; they have owners: persons in interpretational practices. That thesis is grounded (...)
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  14. Truly Understood, by Christopher Peacocke.J. L. Bermudez - 2011 - Mind 120 (480):1276-1280.
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  15. Natural Kinds and Concepts: A Pragmatist and Methodologically Naturalistic Account.Ingo Brigandt - 2011 - In Jonathan Knowles & Henrik Rydenfelt (eds.), Pragmatism, Science and Naturalism. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang Publishing. pp. 171–196.
    In this chapter I lay out a notion of philosophical naturalism that aligns with pragmatism. It is developed and illustrated by a presentation of my views on natural kinds and my theory of concepts. Both accounts reflect a methodological naturalism and are defended not by way of metaphysical considerations, but in terms of their philosophical fruitfulness. A core theme is that the epistemic interests of scientists have to be taken into account by any naturalistic philosophy of science in general, and (...)
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  16. How to Use a Concept You Reject.Mark McCullagh - 2011 - Philosophical Quarterly 61 (243):293-319.
    Inferentialist accounts of concept possession are often supported by examples in which rejection of some inference seems to amount to rejection of some concept, with the apparently implausible consequence that anyone who rejects the inference cannot so much as understand those who use the concept. This consequence can be avoided by distinguishing conditions necessary for direct uses of a concept (to describe the non-cognitive world) from conditions necessary for content-specifying uses (to specify what someone thinks or says). I consider how (...)
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  17. A Little Give and Take: Problems in the Empiricism of Sellars and His Followers.Michael Davis - 2010 - Discusiones Filosóficas 11 (17):53-67.
    The starting point of this paper is Sellars’s rejection of foundationalist empiricism as found in his discussion of the Myth of the Given. Sellars attacks the Myth from two main angles, corresponding to the two elements of empiricism: the idea that our beliefs are justified by the world, and the idea that our concepts are derived from experience. In correctly attacking the second, Sellars is also, incorrectly, led to attack the first. Thus, Sellars rejects the commonsensical idea that at least (...)
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  18. Thick Concepts and Holism About Reasons.Andrew Sneddon - 2010 - Journal of Value Inquiry 44 (4):461-468.
    Thick moral concepts are a topic of particular disagreement in discussions of reasons holism. These concepts, such as justice, are called “thick” because they have both evaluative and descriptive aspects. Thin moral concepts, such as good, are purely evaluative. The disagreement concerns whether the fact that an action is, for example, just always a reason in favor of performing that action. The present argument follows Jonathan Dancy’s strategy of connecting moral reasons and concepts to those in other domains. If Dancy (...)
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  19. Intellect and Concept.Gurpreet Rattan - 2009 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 5.
    The connections between theories of concepts and issues of knowledge and epistemic normativity are complex and controversial. According to the general, broadly Fregean, view that stands in the background of this paper, these connections are taken not only to exist, but also to be fundamental to issues about the individuation of concepts. This kind of view fleshed out should clarify the nature and role of epistemic norms, and of different kinds of epistemic norms, in concept individuation. This paper takes up (...)
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  20. The Empirical Case Against Analyticity: Two Options for Concept Pragmatists.Bradley Rives - 2009 - Minds and Machines 19 (2):199-227.
    It is commonplace in cognitive science that concepts are individuated in terms of the roles they play in the cognitive lives of thinkers, a view that Jerry Fodor has recently been dubbed ‘Concept Pragmatism’. Quinean critics of Pragmatism have long argued that it founders on its commitment to the analytic/synthetic distinction, since without such a distinction there is plausibly no way to distinguish constitutive from non-constitutive roles in cognition. This paper considers Fodor’s empirical arguments against analyticity, and in particular his (...)
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  21. Concept Cartesianism, Concept Pragmatism, and Frege Cases.Bradley Rives - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 144 (2):211-238.
    This paper concerns the dialectal role of Frege Cases in the debate between Concept Cartesians and Concept Pragmatists. I take as a starting point Christopher Peacocke’s argument that, unlike Cartesianism, his ‘Fregean’ Pragmatism can account for facts about the rationality and epistemic status of certain judgments. I argue that since this argument presupposes that the rationality of thoughts turn on their content, it is thus question-begging against Cartesians, who claim that issues about rationality turn on the form, not the content, (...)
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  22. Atomism, Pluralism, and Conceptual Content.Daniel A. Weiskopf - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (1):131-163.
    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 (...)
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  23. Review of Christopher Peacocke, Truly Understood[REVIEW]D. Gene Witmer - 2009 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2009 (6).
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  24. Peacocke's Self-Knowledge.Annalisa Coliva - 2008 - Ratio 21 (1):13–27.
    knowledge. His proposal relies on the claim that first-order mental..
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  25. Can Concepts Ground Apriori Knowledge? Peacocke’s Referential Turn and its Challenges.Nenad Miščević - 2008 - Acta Analytica 23 (3):233-256.
    The paper is a critical examination of Peacocke’s pioneering work on concepts as grounding the possibility of a priori knowledge. It focuses upon his more recent turn to reference and referential domain, and the two enlargements of the purely conceptual bases for apriority, namely appeal to conceptions and to direct referential sensitivity. I argue that the two are needed, but they produce more problem for the strategy as a whole than they solve. I conclude by suggesting that they point to (...)
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  26. Introduction.Neil Tennant - 2008 - Philosophia Mathematica 16 (1):1-3.
    Christopher Peacocke, in A Study of Concepts, motivates his account of possession conditions for concepts by means of an alleged parallel with the conditions under which numbers are abshacted to give the numerosity of a predicate. There are, however, logical mistakes in Peacocke's treatment of numbers, which undermine his intended analogy. Nevertheless Peacocke's account of possession conditions for concepts is not rendered inadequate simply by virtue of being deprived of the intended analogy and the motivation it was supposed to afford. (...)
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  27. Meaning Holism and De Re Ascription.Daniel Whiting - 2008 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 38 (4):575-599.
    According to inferential role semantics (IRS), for an expression to have a particular meaning or express a certain concept is for subjects to be disposed to make, or to treat as proper, certain inferential transitions involving that expression.1 Such a theory of meaning is holistic, since according to it the meaning or concept any given expression possesses or expresses depends on the inferential relations it stands in to other expressions.
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  28. A Recipe for Concept Similarity.Tim Schroeder - 2007 - Mind and Language 22 (1):68-91.
    Sometimes your concept and mine have exactly the same content. When this is so, it is comparatively easy for me to understand what you say when you deploy your concept, for us to disagree, agree, and so on. But what if your concept and mine do not have exactly the same content? This question has occupied a number of philosophers, including Paul Churchland, Jerry Fodor, and Ernie Lepore. This paper develops a novel and rigorous measure of concept similarity, Proportion, such (...)
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  29. A Theory of Conceptual Advance: Explaining Conceptual Change in Evolutionary, Molecular, and Evolutionary Developmental Biology.Ingo Brigandt - 2006 - Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
    The theory of concepts advanced in the dissertation aims at accounting for a) how a concept makes successful practice possible, and b) how a scientific concept can be subject to rational change in the course of history. Traditional accounts in the philosophy of science have usually studied concepts in terms only of their reference; their concern is to establish a stability of reference in order to address the incommensurability problem. My discussion, in contrast, suggests that each scientific concept consists of (...)
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  30. Spencerism and the Causal Theory of Reference.W. Hinzen - 2006 - Biology and Philosophy 21 (1):71-94.
    Spencer’s heritage, while almost a forgotten chapter in the history of biology, lives on in psychology and the philosophy of mind. I particularly discuss externalist views of meaning, on which meaning crucially depends on a notion of reference, and ask whether reference should be thought of as cause or effect. Is the meaning of a word explained by what it refers to, or should we say that what we use a word to refer to is explained by what concept it (...)
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  31. Naturalism and the Metasemantic Account of Concepts.Sílvio Pinto - 2006 - Abstracta 3 (1):29-45.
    In chapter 5 of his 1992 book A Study of Concepts, Christopher Peacocke claims that his account of concepts can be reconciled with naturalism. Nonetheless, despite Peacocke’s greatest efforts to convince the skeptics that the mentioned accommodation is viable if one accepts his approach to concepts, some suspicion survives. In a recent paper on this very topic, Jose Luis Bermudez raises questions about Peacocke’s supposed naturalization by arguing that the approach in question is not able to make sense of the (...)
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  32. Peacocke’s Principle-Based Account of Modality: “Flexibility of Origins” Plus S4.Sonia Roca Royes - 2006 - Erkenntnis 65 (3):405-426.
    Due to the influence of Nathan Salmon's views, endorsement of the "flexibility of origins" thesis is often thought to carry a commitment to the denial of S4. This paper rejects the existence of this commitment and examines how Peacocke's theory of the modal may accommodate flexibility of origins without denying S4. One of the essential features of Peacocke's account is the identification of the Principles of Possibility, which include the Modal Extension Principle, and a set of Constitutive Principles. Regarding their (...)
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  33. Basic Self-Knowledge: Answering Peacocke’s Criticisms of Constitutivism.Aaron Zachary Zimmerman - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 128 (2):337-379.
    Constitutivist accounts of self-knowledge argue that a noncontingent, conceptual relation holds between our first-order mental states and our introspective awareness of them. I explicate a constitutivist account of our knowledge of our own beliefs and defend it against criticisms recently raised by Christopher Peacocke. According to Peacocke, constitutivism says that our second-order introspective beliefs are groundless. I show that Peacocke’s arguments apply to reliabilism not to constitutivism per se, and that by adopting a functionalist account of direct accessibility a constitutivist (...)
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  34. Concepts and Epistemic Individuation.Wayne A. Davis - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (2):290-325.
    Christopher Peacocke has presented an original version of the perennial philosophical thesis that we can gain substantive metaphysical and epistemological insight from an analysis of our concepts. Peacocke's innovation is to look at how concepts are individuated by their possession conditions, which he believes can be specified in terms of conditions in which certain propositions containing those concepts are accepted. The ability to provide such insight is one of Peacocke's major arguments for his theory of concepts. I will critically examine (...)
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  35. Critical Notice of Christopher Peacocke,'The Realm of Reason'.Brad Majors - 2005 - Philosophical Papers 34 (2).
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  36. Cristopher Peacocke, The Realm Of Reason.Nenad Miščević - 2005 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 14:377-380.
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  37. Rationale and Maxims in the Study of Concepts.Christopher Peacocke - 2005 - Noûs 39 (1):167-78.
    Is there any good reason for thinking that a concept is individuated by the condition for a thinker to possess it? Why is that approach superior to alternative accounts of the individuation of concepts? These are amongst the fundamental questions raised by Wayne Davis.
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  38. Review of [Peacocke, 2004]. [REVIEW]N. Tennant - 2005 - Journal of Philosophy 102:155-162.
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  39. Putting Concepts to Work: Some Thoughts for the Twenty First Century.Andy Clark & Jesse J. Prinz - 2004 - Mind and Language 19 (1):57-69.
    Fodor’s theory makes thinking prior to doing. It allows for an inactive agent or pure reflector, and for agents whose actions in various ways seem to float free of their own conceptual repertoires. We show that naturally evolved creatures are not like that. In the real world, thinking is always and everywhere about doing. The point of having a brain is to guide the actions of embodied beings in a complex material world. Some of those actions are, to be sure, (...)
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  40. Having Concepts: A Brief Refutation of the Twentieth Century.Jerry Fodor - 2004 - Mind and Language 19 (1):29-47.
  41. Interrelations: Concepts, Knowledge, Reference and Structure.Christopher Peacocke - 2004 - Mind and Language 19 (1):85-98.
    : This paper has five theses, which are intended to address the claims in Jerry Fodor's paper. The question arises of the relation between the philosophical theory of concepts and epistemology. Neither is explanatorily prior to the other. Rather, each relies implicitly on distinctions drawn from the other. To explain what makes something knowledge, we need distinctions drawn from the theory of concepts. To explain the attitudes mentioned in a theory of concepts, we need to use the notion of knowledge. (...)
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  42. Remarks on Fodor on Having Concepts.Daniel A. Weiskopf & William Bechtel - 2004 - Mind and Language 19 (1):48-56.
    Fodor offers a novel argument against Bare-bones Concept Pragmatism (BCP). He alleges that there are two circularities in BCP’s account of concept possession: a circularity in explaining concept possession in terms of the capacity to sort; and a circularity in explaining concept possession in terms of the capacity to draw inferences. We argue that neither of these circles is real.
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  43. The Non-Circularity Constraint: Peacocke Vs. Peacocke.Dan López de Sa - 2003 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 22 (1-2):85-93.
    According to the view that Peacocke elaborates in A Study of Concepts (1992), a concept can be individuated by providing the conditions a thinker must satisfy in order to possess that concept. Hence possessions conditions for concepts should be specifiable in a way that respects a non-circularity constraint. In a more recent paper “Implicit Conceptions, Understanding and Rationality” (1998a) Peacocke argues against his former view, in the light of the phenomenon of rationally accepting principles which do not follow from what (...)
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  44. The Non-Circularity Constraint: Peacocke Vs. Peacocke. L. - 2003 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 22 (1-2):85-93.
    According to the view that Peacocke elaborates in _A Study of Concepts_ (1992), a concept can be individuated by providing the conditions a thinker must satisfy in or- der to possess that concept. Hence possessions conditions for concepts should be specifiable in a way that respects a non-circularity constraint. In a more recent paper.
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  45. Implicit Conceptions, Understanding, and Rationality.Christopher Peacocke - 2003 - In Martin Hahn & B. Ramberg (eds.), Philosophical Issues. MIT Press. pp. 43-88.
  46. Sprechen über die Welt. Zu Robert Brandoms "Making it explicit".Johannes Haag - 2002 - Philosophisches Jahrbuch 109 (2):323-342.
  47. Review: Peacocke on Modality. [REVIEW]Gideon Rosen - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (3):641 - 648.
    We know a great deal about what is possible, so modal knowledge must be possible, not just in principle but by ordinary methods. Christopher Peacocke’s leading thought in Chapter 4 of Being Known is that this fact places significant constraints on philosophical treatments of modality. Modal realism is ruled out on the ground that it renders modal truth “radically inaccessible”, and actualism is forced upon us. It goes without saying that any account of the modal facts must eventually dovetail with (...)
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  48. The Emperor’s New Concepts.Neil Tennant - 2002 - Noûs 36 (s16):345-377.
    Christopher Peacocke, in A Study of Concepts, motivates his account of possession conditions for concepts by means of an alleged parallel with the conditions under which numbers are abstracted to give the numerosity of a predicate. There are, however, logical mistakes in Peacocke.
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  49. Peacocke’s Theory of Modality. [REVIEW]Timothy Williamson - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (3):649–654.
    Chapter 4 of Being Known makes a bold and sophisticated attempt to integrate the metaphysics of modality with its epistemology. Memory sometimes enables us to know of something not happening in the present that it happened in the past; what enables us to know of something not happening in the past, present or future that it could have happened? Christopher Peacocke's answer roots the possible in the actual, more specifically in different ways of assigning actually existing items as the semantic (...)
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  50. Peacocke’s Theory of Modality. [REVIEW]Timothy Williamson - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (3):649 - 654.
    Chapter 4 of Being Known makes a bold and sophisticated attempt to integrate the metaphysics of modality with its epistemology. Memory sometimes enables us to know of something not happening in the present that it happened in the past; what enables us to know of something not happening in the past, present or future that it could have happened? Christopher Peacocke’s answer roots the possible in the actual, more specifically in different ways of assigning actually existing items as the semantic (...)
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