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Chapter 2 - Concepts

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 January 2023

Muhammad Ali Khalidi
Affiliation:
City University of New York
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Summary

This chapter discusses one of the most basic putative cognitive kinds, concept, arguing that it should be considered a real kind based on our current state of knowledge, contrary to what some philosophers have urged. After surveying empirical work on concepts in cognitive neuroscience and cognitive psychology, the chapter tries to show that this work is pitched at different levels of explanation. Much recent work on concepts using neuroimaging techniques should not be expected to reveal the neural correlates of concepts because the research has different explananda and is investigating different causal processes. Other work on concepts in cognitive science reveals psychological structures (prototypes) associated mainly with automatic processing rather than deliberative reasoning. By contrast, concepts proper can be understood as functional kinds, which are individuated partly etiologically and partly with reference to the thinker’s discriminatory and inferential abilities. Many research programs in cognitive science individuate concepts in this way, combining diachronic and synchronic factors.

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Chapter
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Cognitive Ontology
Taxonomic Practices in the Mind-Brain Sciences
, pp. 33 - 74
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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  • Concepts
  • Muhammad Ali Khalidi, City University of New York
  • Book: Cognitive Ontology
  • Online publication: 15 January 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009223645.003
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To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • Concepts
  • Muhammad Ali Khalidi, City University of New York
  • Book: Cognitive Ontology
  • Online publication: 15 January 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009223645.003
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Concepts
  • Muhammad Ali Khalidi, City University of New York
  • Book: Cognitive Ontology
  • Online publication: 15 January 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009223645.003
Available formats
×