The Points of Concepts: Their Types, Tensions, and Connections

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (8):1122-1145 (2019)
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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 why they come apart, and whether they do so for problematic ideological reasons or for benignly functional reasons.

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Matthieu Queloz
University of Bern


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