On the ambiguity of concept use in psychology: Is the concept “concept” a useful concept?

Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 31 (2):73 (2011)
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Abstract

We provide a historical and philosophical review of the main theories of concepts that implicitly or explicitly ground the various senses of the concept “concept” in psychology and related sciences, highlighting their respective strengths and limitations. We then consider these theories in terms of their ontology and epistemology . This is followed by a brief summary of more current treatments and conceptualizations of concepts within psychology that seem linked, at least to some extent, by a general “received view” of sorts, according to which concepts are in some way “in the head.” We contrast this received view with a linguistic construal of concepts, according to which concepts are inextricably bound up with the terms in which they are expressed. We conclude with a consideration of the implications of the foregoing for concept research in psychology by conducting an ordinary language analysis of the concept “concept.” 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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