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  1. Concepts as shared regulative ideals.Laura Schroeter & Francois Schroeter - manuscript
    What is it to share the same concept? The question is an important one since sharing the same concept explains our ability to non-accidentally coordinate on the same topic over time and between individuals. Moreover, concept identity grounds key logical relations among thought contents such as samesaying, contradiction, validity, and entailment. Finally, an account of concept identity is crucial to explaining and justifying epistemic efforts to better understand the precise contents of our thoughts. The key question, then, is what psychological (...)
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  2. Kantian Animal Moral Psychology: Empirical Markers for Animal Morality.Erik Nelson - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    I argue that a Kantian inspired investigation into animal morality is both a plausible and coherent research program. To show that such an investigation is possible, I argue that philosophers, such as Korsgaard, who argue that reason demarcates nonhuman animals from the domain of moral beings are equivocating in their use of the term ‘rationality’. Kant certainly regards rationality as necessary for moral responsibility from a practical standpoint, but his distinction between the noumenal and phenomenal means that he can only (...)
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  3. Don't trust Fodor's guide in Monte Carlo: Learning concepts by hypothesis testing without circularity.Michael Deigan - 2023 - Mind and Language 38 (2):355-373.
    Fodor argued that learning a concept by hypothesis testing would involve an impossible circularity. I show that Fodor's argument implicitly relies on the assumption that actually φ-ing entails an ability to φ. But this assumption is false in cases of φ-ing by luck, and just such luck is involved in testing hypotheses with the kinds of generative random sampling methods that many cognitive scientists take our minds to use. Concepts thus can be learned by hypothesis testing without circularity, and it (...)
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  4. Knowing What It's Like.Andrew Y. Lee - 2023 - Philosophical Perspectives 37 (1):187-209.
    David Lewis—famously—never tasted vegemite. Did he have any knowledge of what it's like to taste vegemite? Most say 'no'; I say 'yes'. I argue that knowledge of what it’s like varies along a spectrum from more exact to more approximate, and that phenomenal concepts vary along a spectrum in how precisely they characterize what it’s like to undergo their target experiences. This degreed picture contrasts with the standard all-or-nothing picture, where phenomenal concepts and phenomenal knowledge lack any such degreed structure. (...)
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  5. Interpretative Modesty.Mark McCullagh - 2023 - Journal of Philosophy 120 (1):42-59.
    Philosophers have wanted to work with conceptions of word-competence, or concept-possession, on which being a competent practitioner with a word amounts to being a competent judge of its uses by others. I argue that our implicit conception of competence with a word does not have this presupposition built into it. One implication of this is what I call "modesty" in interpretation: we allow for others, uses of words that we would not allow for ourselves. I develop this point by looking (...)
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  6. Fineness of grain and the hylomorphism of experience.Sascha Settegast - 2023 - Synthese 201 (6):1-29.
    A central objection to McDowell’s conceptualism about empirical content concerns the fine-grained phenomenology of experience, which supposedly entails that the actual content of experience cannot be matched in its particularity by our concepts. While McDowell himself has answered this objection in recourse to the possibility of demonstrative concepts, his reply has engendered a plethora of further objections and is widely considered inadequate. I believe that McDowell’s critics underestimate the true force of his reply because they tend to read unrecognized empiricist (...)
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  7. Character and Culture in Social Cognition.James Lloyd - 2022 - Dissertation, The University of Manchester
    We make character trait attributions to predict and explain others’ behaviour. How should we understand character trait attribution in context across the domains of philosophy, folk psychology, developmental psychology, and evolutionary psychology? For example, how does trait attribution relate to our ability to attribute mental states to others, to ‘mindread’? This thesis uses philosophical methods and empirical data to argue for character trait attribution as a practice dependent upon our ability to mindread, which develops as a product of natural selection (...)
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  8. La redefinición del concepto de juicio en la explicación cognitivista de las emociones.Rodrigo Braicovich - 2021 - Eikasia Revista de Filosofía 102:129-151.
    Una de las premisas centrales del modelo cognitivista de explicación de las emociones consiste en afirmar que toda emoción es un juicio, afirmación que conduce a lo que denominaré el problema de la restrictividad, es decir, al hecho de que dicho modelo parece impedirnos atribuir emociones a entidades que carecen (temporal o estructuralmente) de la capacidad de juzgar. El objetivo del artículo consistirá en relevar las estrategias a las que recurren los dos autores que han defendido el modelo cognitivista de (...)
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  9. Concepts and predication from perception to cognition.Jake Quilty-Dunn - 2020 - Philosophical Issues 30 (1):273-292.
    Philosophical Issues, Volume 30, Issue 1, Page 273-292, October 2020.
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  10. Other minds are neither seen nor inferred.Mason Westfall - 2020 - Synthese 198 (12):11977-11997.
    How do we know about other minds on the basis of perception? The two most common answers to this question are that we literally perceive others’ mental states, or that we infer their mental states on the basis of perceiving something else. In this paper, I argue for a different answer. On my view, we don’t perceive mental states, and yet perceptual experiences often immediately justify mental state attributions. In a slogan: other minds are neither seen nor inferred. I argue (...)
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  11. Contemporary Concept Nativism: Some Methodological Remarks.Ilya Y. Bulov - 2019 - Russian Journal of Philosophical Sciences 62 (7):96-109.
    The innate knowledge problem is a classical problem in philosophy, which has been known since the classical antiquity. Plato in his dialogues Meno and Phaedo formulated the doctrine of innate ideas and proposed an early version of the poverty of the stimulus argument, which is the most frequently used argument in innate knowledge debates. In the history of philosophy there was also an opposite view. This approach is often associated with J. Locke’s philosophy. Locke thought that all our knowledge about (...)
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  12. 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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  13. The Points of Concepts: Their Types, Tensions, and Connections.Matthieu Queloz - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (8):1122-1145.
    In the literature seeking to explain concepts in terms of their point, talk of ‘the point’ of concepts remains under-theorised. I propose a typology of points which distinguishes practical, evaluative, animating, and inferential points. This allows us to resolve tensions such as that between the ambition of explanations in terms of the points of concepts to be informative and the claim that mastering concepts requires grasping their point; and it allows us to exploit connections between types of points to understand (...)
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  14. Thought about Properties: Why the Perceptual Case is Basic.Dominic Alford-Duguid - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (271):221-242.
    This paper defends a version of the old empiricist claim that to think about unobservable physical properties a subject must be able to think perception-based thoughts about observable properties. The central argument builds upon foundations laid down by G. E. M. Anscombe and P. F. Strawson. It bridges the gap separating these foundations and the target claim by exploiting a neglected connection between thought about properties and our grasp of causation. This way of bridging the gap promises to introduce substantive (...)
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  15. Reconstructing Aquinas's Process of Abstraction.Liran Shia Gordon - 2018 - Heythrop Journal 59 (4):639-652.
    Aquinas’s process of abstraction of the particular thing into a universal concept is of pivotal importance for grounding his philosophy and theology in a natural framework. Much has been said and written regarding Aquinas’s doctrine of abstraction, yet recent studies still consider it to be ‘nothing more than a kind of magic.’ This problematic claim is not without foundation, for in trying to understand exactly how this process works, we are constantly faced with an unbridgeable abyss and the repeated vague (...)
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  16. Is Understanding Epistemic in Nature?Gurpreet Rattan & Åsa Wikforss - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (2).
    Is understanding epistemic in nature? Does a correct account of what constitutes understanding of a concept mention epistemological notions such as knowledge, justification or epistemic rationality? We defend the view that understanding is epistemic in nature – we defend epistemological conceptions of understanding. We focus our discussion with a critical evaluation of Tim Williamson's challenges to epistemological conceptions of understanding in The Philosophy of Philosophy. Against Williamson, we distinguish three kinds of epistemological conceptions and argue that Williamson's arguments succeed against (...)
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  17. The Dual Concepts Objection to Content Externalism.Bryan Frances - 2016 - American Philosophical Quarterly 53 (2):123-138.
    Many philosophers have used premises about concepts and rationality to argue that the protagonists in the various Twin Earth thought experiments do not have the concepts that content externalists say they have. This essay argues that this popular internalist argument is flawed in many different ways, and more importantly it cannot be repaired in order to cast doubt on externalism.
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  18. Semantic Deference versus Semantic Coordination.Laura Schroeter & François Schroeter - 2016 - American Philosophical Quarterly 53 (2):193-210.
    It's widely accepted that social facts about an individual's linguistic community can affect both the reference of her words and the concepts those words express. Theorists sympathetic to the internalist tradition have sought to accommodate these social dependence phenomena without altering their core theoretical commitments by positing deferential reference-fixing criteria. In this paper, we sketch a different explanation of social dependence phenomena, according to which all concepts are individuated in part by causal-historical relations linking token elements of thought.
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  19. A Live Language: Concreteness, Openness, Ambivalence.Hili Razinsky - 2015 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 15 (1):51-65.
    Wittgenstein has shown that that life, in the sense that applies in the first place to human beings, is inherently linguistic. In this paper, I ask what is involved in language, given that it is thus essential to life, answering that language – or concepts – must be both alive and the ground for life. This is explicated by a Wittgensteinian series of entailments of features. According to the first feature, concepts are not intentional engagements. The second feature brings life (...)
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  20. Rationalizing Self-Interpretation.Laura Schroeter & Francois Schroeter - 2015 - In Palgrave Handbook of Philosophical Methods. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 419–447.
    A characteristic form of philosophical inquiry seeks to answer ‘what is x?’ questions. In this paper, we ask how philosophers do and should adjudicate debates about the correct answer to such questions. We argue that philosophers do and should rely on a distinctive type of pragmatic and meta-representational reasoning – a form of rationalizing self-interpretation – in answering ‘what is x?’ questions. We start by placing our methodological discussion within a broader theoretical framework. We posit a necessary connection between epistemic (...)
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  21. Blocking the A Priori Passage.Andreas Elpidorou - 2014 - Acta Analytica 29 (3):285-307.
    I defend the claim that physicalism is not committed to the view that non-phenomenal macrophysical truths are a priori entailed by the conjunction of microphysical truths , basic indexical facts , and a 'that's all' claim . I do so by showing that Chalmers and Jackson's most popular and influential argument in support of the claim that PIT ⊃ M is a priori, where 'M' stands for any ordinary, non-phenomenal, macroscopic truth, falls short of establishing its conclusion. My objection to (...)
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  22. Is Intuition Based On Understanding?[I thank Jo].Elijah Chudnoff - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (1):42-67.
    According to the most popular non-skeptical views about intuition, intuitions justify beliefs because they are based on understanding. More precisely: if intuiting that p justifies you in believing that p it does so because your intuition is based on your understanding of the proposition that p. The aim of this paper is to raise some challenges for accounts of intuitive justification along these lines. I pursue this project from a non-skeptical perspective. I argue that there are cases in which intuiting (...)
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  23. Mind, Modality, and Meaning: Toward a Rationalist Physicalism.Gabriel Oak Rabin - 2013 - Dissertation, University of California Los Angeles
    This dissertation contains four independent essays addressing a cluster of related topics in the philosophy of mind. Chapter 1: “Fundamentality Physicalism” argues that physicalism can usefully be conceived of as a thesis about fundamentality. The chapter explores a variety of other potential formulations of physicalism (particularly modal formulations), contrasts fundamentality physicalism with these theses, and offers reasons to prefer fundamentality physicalism over these rivals. Chapter 2:“Modal Rationalism and the Demonstrative Reply to the Master Argument Against Physicalism” introduces the Master Argument (...)
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  24. Abstraction and the Origin of General Ideas.Stephen Laurence & Eric Margolis - 2012 - Philosophers' Imprint 12:1-22.
    Philosophers have often claimed that general ideas or representations have their origin in abstraction, but it remains unclear exactly what abstraction as a psychological process consists in. We argue that the Lockean aspiration of using abstraction to explain the origins of all general representations cannot work and that at least some general representations have to be innate. We then offer an explicit framework for understanding abstraction, one that treats abstraction as a computational process that operates over an innate quality space (...)
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  25. The Scope of the Conceptual.Eric Margolis & Stephen Laurence - 2012 - In Eric Margolis, Richard Samuels & Stephen Stich (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Cognitive Science. Oxford University Press.
    This chapter provides a critical overview of ten central arguments that philosophers have given in support of a distinction between the conceptual and the nonconceptual. We use these arguments to examine the question of whether (and in what sense) perceptual states might be deemed nonconceptual and also whether (and in what sense) animals and infants might be deemed to lack concepts. We argue that philosophers have implicitly relied on a wide variety of different ways to draw the conceptual/nonconceptual distinction and (...)
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  26. Causal reasoning.Christoph Hoerl - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 152 (2):167-179.
    The main focus of this paper is the question as to what it is for an individual to think of her environment in terms of a concept of causation, or causal concepts, in contrast to some more primitive ways in which an individual might pick out or register what are in fact causal phenomena. I show how versions of this question arise in the context of two strands of work on causation, represented by Elizabeth Anscombe and Christopher Hitchcock, respectively. I (...)
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  27. On Imagism About Phenomenal Thought.Pär Sundström - 2011 - Philosophical Review 120 (1):43-95.
    Imagism about Phenomenal Thought is (roughly) the view that there is some concept *Q* (for some sensory quality Q) that we can employ only while we experience the quality Q. I believe this view is theoretically significant, is or can be made intuitively appealing, and is explicitly or implicitly accepted by many contemporary philosophers However, there is no good reason to accept it. Or so I argue.
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  28. Concetti: capacità o rappresentazioni?E. Lalumera - 2008 - Epistemologia 31 (1):75-96.
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  29. Conceptual and linguistic analysis: A two-step program.Andrew Melnyk - 2008 - Noûs 42 (2):267–291.
    This paper argues against both conceptual and linguistic analysis as sources of a priori knowledge. Whether such knowledge is possible turns on the nature of concepts. The paper's chief contention is that none of the main views about what concepts are can underwrite the possibility of such knowledge.
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  30. Humes utelämnade nyans av blått.Pär Sundström - 2008 - Filosofisk Tidskrift 29 (3):18-33.
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  31. Words as concepts.Andrea Bianchi - 2005 - In Juan José Acero & Paolo Leonardi (eds.), Facets of Concepts. Padova: pp. 83-108.
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  32. The Fodorian fallacy.François Recanati - 2002 - Analysis 62 (4):285-89.
    In recent years Fodor has repeatedly argued that nothing epistemic can be essential to, or constitutive of, any concept. This holds in virtue of a constraint which Fodor dubs the Compositionality Constraint. I show that Fodor's argument is fallacious because it rests on an ambiguity.
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  33. Concepts: Fodor's little semantic BBs of thought - A critical look at Fodor's theory of concepts -.Eric Dietrich - 2001 - J. Of Experimental and Theoretical AI 13 (2):89-94.
    I find it interesting that AI researchers don't use concepts very often in their theorizing. No doubt they feel no pressure to. This is because most AI researchers do use representations which allow a system to chunk up its environment, and basically all we know about concepts is that they are representations which allow a system to chunk up its environment.
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  34. A Theory of the a Priori.George Bealer - 1999 - Philosophical Perspectives 13:29-55.
    The topic of a priori knowledge is approached through the theory of evidence. A shortcoming in traditional formulations of moderate rationalism and moderate empiricism is that they fail to explain why rational intuition and phenomenal experience count as basic sources of evidence. This explanatory gap is filled by modal reliabilism -- the theory that there is a qualified modal tie between basic sources of evidence and the truth. This tie to the truth is then explained by the theory of concept (...)
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  35. Jerry A. Fodor, Concepts: Where Cognitive Science Went Wrong. [REVIEW]S. Laurence & Eric Margolis - 1999 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 50 (3):487-491.
    Review of Jerry Fodor's book Concepts: Where Cognitive Science Went Wrong (Oxford University Press).
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  36. Concepts and Cognitive Science.Stephen Laurence & Eric Margolis - 1999 - In Eric Margolis & Stephen Laurence (eds.), Concepts: Core Readings. MIT Press. pp. 3-81.
    Given the fundamental role that concepts play in theories of cognition, philosophers and cognitive scientists have a common interest in concepts. Nonetheless, there is a great deal of controversy regarding what kinds of things concepts are, how they are structured, and how they are acquired. This chapter offers a detailed high-level overview and critical evaluation of the main theories of concepts and their motivations. Taking into account the various challenges that each theory faces, the chapter also presents a novel approach (...)
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  37. A theory of concepts and concepts possession.George Bealer - 1998 - Philosophical Issues 9:261-301.
    The paper begins with an argument against eliminativism with respect to the propositional attitudes. There follows an argument that concepts are sui generis ante rem entities. A nonreductionist view of concepts and propositions is then sketched. This provides the background for a theory of concept possession, which forms the bulk of the paper. The central idea is that concept possession is to be analyzed in terms of a certain kind of pattern of reliability in one’s intuitions regarding the behavior of (...)
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  38. Concept possession.George Bealer - 1998 - Philosophical Issues 9:331-338.
    This paper answers critical responses to the author’s “A Theory of Concepts and Concept Possession.” The paper begins with a discussion of candidate counterexamples to the proposed analysis of concept possession -- including, e.g., a discussion of its relationship to Frank Jackson’s Mary example. Second, questions concerning the author’s general methodological approach are considered. For instance, it is shown that -- contrary to the critics’ suggestions -- an analysis of concept possession cannot invoke belief alone, but must also invoke intuition. (...)
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  39. Incommensurability in cognitive guise.Muhammad Ali Khalidi - 1998 - Philosophical Psychology 11 (1):29 – 43.
    Philosophers and historians of science have made the claim that successive scientific theories are incommensurable, that is, that many or all of their concepts fail to coincide. This claim has been echoed by cognitive psychologists who have applied it to the successive conceptual schemes of young children, or of children and adults. This paper examines the psychological evidence for the claim and proposes ways of reinterpreting it which do not involve imputing incommensurability. An alternative approach to understanding conceptual change is (...)
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  40. Two concepts of concept.Muhammad ali KhAlidi - 1995 - Mind and Language 10 (4):402-22.
    Two main theories of concepts have emerged in the recent psychological literature: the Prototype Theory (which considers concepts to be self-contained lists of features) and the Theory Theory (which conceives of them as being embedded within larger theoretical networks). Experiments supporting the first theory usually differ substantially from those supporting the second, which suggests that these the· ories may be operating at different levels of explanation and dealing with different entities. A convergence is proposed between the Theory Theory and the (...)
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  41. Content, embodiment and objectivity: The theory of cognitive trails.Adrian Cussins - 1992 - Mind 101 (404):651-88.
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  42. The Case for Reflexives or Reflexives for Case.Pierre Pica - 1990 - In Karen Deaton, Manuela Noske & Michael Ziolkowski (eds.), Proceedings from the 26th Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society. Chicago Linguistic Society.
    It is claimed that the English genitive marker 's' suprisingly mirrors- at least in some dialects of English - the three main different usage of the mono-morphemic reflexives such as 'se' in French. A solution to this paradox already noted by Jespersen (1918) is proposed drawing on Watkins paradox according to which the study of what looks like 'social' parameters might be relevant for linguistics.
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  43. Sur le caractère inaliénable de l'être.Pierre Pica - 1988 - In Pierre Pica & Tibor Papp (eds.), Transparence et opacité. Littérature et sciences cognitives. Cerf. pp. 207--221.
    It is claimed that the notion of reflexive pronoun involves, in indo-european and amerindian languages, a name or a morphological mark related to the expression of an inalienable relationship.
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