Single Idea 12631

[catalogued under 18. Thought / D. Concepts / 4. Structure of Concepts / g. Conceptual atomism]

Full Idea

Atomism must be right about the individuation of concepts because compositionality demands it.


'Compositionality' is building up thoughts from components

Gist of Idea

Compositionality requires that concepts be atomic


Jerry A. Fodor (LOT 2 [2008], Ch1)

Book Reference

Fodor,Jerry A.: 'LOT 2: the Language of Thought Revisited' [OUP 2008], p.20

A Reaction

I suppose this seems right, though Fodor's own example of 'pet fish' is interesting. What is supposed to happen when you take a concept like 'pet' and put it with 'fish', given that both components shift their atomic (?) meaning in the process?