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ConceptsWhere Cognitive Science Went Wrong$
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Jerry A. Fodor

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198236368

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198236360.001.0001

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Innateness and Ontology, Part I: The Standard Argument 1

Innateness and Ontology, Part I: The Standard Argument 1

Chapter:
(p.120) 6 Innateness and Ontology, Part I: The Standard Argument1
Source:
Concepts
Author(s):

Jerry A. Fodor (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198236360.003.0006

The `standard’ argument against conceptual atomism: primitive concepts must be innate (i.e. common ground between empiricists and rationalists). So, if conceptual atomism is true, concept nativism must be true. Is this a reduction? The main objection to a pervasive concept nativism is that typical concepts are acquired from experience with their instances. This is explicable on the assumption that such concepts are learned. An alternative explanation is proposed, which turns on the suggestion that typical concepts express mind dependent properties.

Keywords:   concepts, conceptual atomism, innateness, nativism, primitive concepts, similarity

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