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Doing without Concepts

Machery, E (2009) Doing without Concepts. UNSPECIFIED. ISBN 9780195306880

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Abstract

© 2009 by Oxford University Press, Inc. All rights reserved. Over recent years, the psychology of concepts has been rejuvenated by new work on prototypes, inventive ideas on causal cognition, the development of neo-empiricist theories of concepts, and the inputs of the budding neuropsychology of concepts. But our empirical knowledge about concepts has yet to be organized in a coherent framework. This book argues that the dominant psychological theories of concepts fail to provide such a framework and that drastic conceptual changes are required to make sense of the research on concepts in psychology and neuropsychology. The book shows that the class of concepts divides into several distinct kinds that have little in common with one another and that for this very reason, it is a mistake to attempt to encompass all known phenomena within a single theory of concepts. In brief, concepts are not a natural kind. The book concludes that the theoretical notion of concept should be eliminated from the theoretical apparatus of contemporary psychology and should be replaced with theoretical notions that are more appropriate for fulfilling psychologists' goals. The notion of concept has encouraged psychologists to believe that a single theory of concepts could be developed, leading to useless theoretical controversies between the dominant paradigms of concepts. Keeping this notion would slow down, and maybe prevent, the development of a more adequate classification and would overshadow the theoretical and empirical issues that are raised by this more adequate classification.


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Details

Item Type: Book
Status: Published
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Machery, Emachery@pitt.eduMACHERY
Date: 1 May 2009
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195306880.001.0001
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > History and Philosophy of Science
Refereed: Yes
ISBN: 9780195306880
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2012 19:49
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2019 15:59
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/13785

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