Ideas of E Margolis/S Laurence, by Theme

[American, fl. 2009, Professors at Vancouver and Sheffield.]

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1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 5. Against Analysis
Naturalistic philosophers oppose analysis, preferring explanation to a priori intuition
12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 2. Associationism
Modern empiricism tends to emphasise psychological connections, not semantic relations
17. Mind and Body / E. Physicalism / 1. Physicalism
Body-type seems to affect a mind's cognition and conceptual scheme
18. Thought / B. Mechanics of Thought / 2. Mentalese
Language of thought has subject/predicate form and includes logical devices
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 1. Concepts / a. Concepts
Concepts are either representations, or abilities, or Fregean senses
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 2. Ontology of Concepts / a. Concepts as representations
A computer may have propositional attitudes without representations
Do mental representations just lead to a vicious regress of explanations
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 2. Ontology of Concepts / b. Concepts as abilities
Maybe the concept CAT is just the ability to discriminate and infer about cats
The abilities view cannot explain the productivity of thought, or mental processes
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 3. Structure of Concepts / a. Conceptual structure
Concept-structure explains typicality, categories, development, reference and composition
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 3. Structure of Concepts / c. Classical concepts
Classically, concepts give necessary and sufficient conditions for falling under them
The classical theory explains acquisition, categorization and reference
Typicality challenges the classical view; we see better fruit-prototypes in apples than in plums
It may be that our concepts (such as 'knowledge') have no definitional structure
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 3. Structure of Concepts / d. Concepts as prototypes
Prototype theory categorises by computing the number of shared constituents
The prototype theory is probabilistic, picking something out if it has sufficient of the properties
Many complex concepts obviously have no prototype
Complex concepts have emergent properties not in the ingredient prototypes
People don't just categorise by apparent similarities
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 3. Structure of Concepts / f. Theory theory of concepts
The theory theory is holistic, so how can people have identical concepts?
The theory theory of concepts says they are parts of theories, defined by their roles
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 3. Structure of Concepts / g. Conceptual atomism
Maybe concepts have no structure, and determined by relations to the world, not to other concepts
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 4. Concepts and Language / c. Concepts without language
People can formulate new concepts which are only named later