The Scope of the Conceptual

In Eric Margolis, Richard Samuels & Stephen Stich (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Cognitive Science. Oxford University Press (2012)
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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 that all ten of the arguments we discuss face considerable difficulties.

Author Profiles

Eric Margolis
University of British Columbia
Stephen Laurence
University of Sheffield


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