Single Idea 12635

[catalogued under 18. Thought / D. Concepts / 3. Ontology of Concepts / a. Concepts as representations]

Full Idea

Pragmatism about concepts really is dead, and the only alternative about concept possession is Cartesianism. That is, it's the thesis that having concept C is being able to think about Cs (as such).

Gist of Idea

Having a concept isn't a pragmatic matter, but being able to think about the concept


Jerry A. Fodor (LOT 2 [2008], Ch.2.2)

Book Reference

Fodor,Jerry A.: 'LOT 2: the Language of Thought Revisited' [OUP 2008], p.47

A Reaction

I like this. It is very hard to pick out from Fodor the bits where he is clearly right, but this seems to be one of them. I don't like the pragmatic or Wittgensteinian line that having concepts is all about abilities and uses (like sorting or inferring).