The Big Concepts Paper: A Defence of Hybridism

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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.
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First archival date: 2015-11-21
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