The Big Concepts Paper: A Defence of Hybridism

British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (1):59-88 (2016)
  Copy   BIBTEX


The renewed interest in concepts and their role in psychological theorizing is partially motivated by Machery’s claim that concepts are so heterogeneous that they have no explanatory role. Against this, pluralism argues that there is multiplicity of different concepts for any given category, while hybridism argues that a concept is constituted by a rich common representation. This article aims to advance the understanding of the hybrid view of concepts. First, we examine the main arguments against hybrid concepts and conclude that, even if not successful, they challenge hybridism to find a robust criterion for concept individuation and to show an explanatory advantage for hybrid concepts. Then we propose such a criterion of individuation, which we will call ‘functional stable coactivation’. Finally, we examine the prospects of hybridism to understand what is involved in recent approaches to categorization and meaning extraction. 1 The Heterogeneity of Conceptual Representations2 Two Challenges for Hybrid Concepts: Individuation and Explanation2.1 The coordination criterion2.2 Concepts as constituents of thoughts3 Individuating Hybrids: Functional Stable Coactivation4 The Explanatory Power of Hybrid Concepts4.1 Categorization4.2 Meaning extraction4.2.1 Linguistic comprehension and rich lexical entries4.2.2 Polysemy and hybrid concepts5 Conclusion.

Similar books and articles

Contagious Disease and Self-Defence.T. M. Wilkinson - 2007 - Res Publica 13 (4):339-359.
The Pleonasticity of Talk About Concepts.Alex Barber - 1998 - Philosophical Studies 89 (1):53-86.
On the Relevance and Importance of the Notion of Disease.Lennart Nordenfelt - 1993 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 14 (1).
A Simpler Free Will Defence.C’Zar Bernstein & Nathaniel Helms - 2015 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 77 (3):197-203.
The Role of Reasonableness in Self-Defence.Dr Hamish Stewart - 2003 - Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 16 (2):317-336.
Semantic Minimalism.Agustin Vicente & Fernando Martinez-Manrique - 2010 - Oxford Bibliographies On-Line.
Moral Obligations: Actualist, Possibilist, or Hybridist?Travis Timmerman & Yishai Cohen - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (4):672-686.
La instrospección y el uso cognitivo del lenguaje.Fernando Martínez Manrique & Agustín Vicente Benito - 2005 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 24 (1):63-78.


Added to PP

1,158 (#5,566)

6 months
44 (#23,191)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Agustin Vicente
University of the Basque Country

References found in this work

Doing Without Concepts.Edouard Machery - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
Perceptual Symbol Systems.Lawrence W. Barsalou - 1999 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (4):577-660.
Relevance Theory.Deirdre Wilson & Dan Sperber - 2002 - In L. Horn & G. Ward (eds.), The Handbook of Pragmatics. Blackwell. pp. 607-632.

View all 26 references / Add more references