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Doing without concepts

Author: Edouard Machery
Publisher: Oxford : Oxford University Press (OUP), 2011.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : 1st OUP pbkView all editions and formats
Summary:
"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." "In Doing without Concepts, Edouard Machery argues that the dominant  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Edouard Machery
ISBN: 9780195306880 0195306880 9780199837564 0199837562
OCLC Number: 742572405
Notes: Originally published: 2009.
Description: XII, 283 p. : illustrations ; 23 cm
Contents: Concepts in psychology. "Concept" in psychology ; Evidence for the existence of concepts ; What is a psychological theory of concepts? ; Alternative characterizations of the notion of concept ; Conclusion --
Concepts in philosophy. "Concept" in philosophy ; Concepts in philosophy versus concepts in psychology ; How are the psychological and the philosophical theories of concepts connected? Peacocke's simple account ; How are the psychological and the philosophical theories of concepts connected? The foundationalist account ; Conclusion --
The heterogeneity hypothesis. The received view ; The heterogeneity hypothesis ; Hybrid theories of concepts ; Conclusion --
Three fundamental kinds of concepts: prototypes, exemplars, theories. The classical theory of concepts ; The prototype paradigm of concepts ; The exemplar paradigm of concepts ; The theory paradigm of concepts ; Alternative views of concepts ; Three theoretical entities that have little in common ; Conclusion --
Multi-process theories. Multi-process theories ; Examples of multi-process theories ; Conclusion --
Categorization and concept learning. Categorization and concept learning ; Studying categorization and concept learning ; Evidence for the existence of prototypes ; Evidence for the existence of exemplars ; Evidence for the existence of theories ; Organization of the categorization processes and of the concept-learning processes ; Conclusion --
Induction, concept combination, and neuropsychology. Induction ; Concept combination ; Neuropsychology ; Conclusion --
Concept eliminativism. Two inconclusive arguments against the notion of concept ; Natural kinds and scientific eliminativism ; The argument for the elimination of "concept" ; Objections and replies ; Conclusion.
Responsibility: Edouard Machery.

Abstract:

"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." "In Doing without Concepts, Edouard Machery 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. Machery 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. Machery 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. Anyone interested in cognitive science's emerging view of the mind will find Machery's provocative ideas of interest."--Jacket.

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Even if one is not convinced by Machery's idea that concepts are not natural kinds, and that'concept' needs to be eliminated from the vocabulary of psychology, Doing without Concepts might still be Read more...

 
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