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Doing without Concepts$
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Edouard Machery

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195306880

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195306880.001.0001

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Concepts in Psychology

Concepts in Psychology

(p.7) 1 Concepts in Psychology
Doing without Concepts

Edouard Machery (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes what concepts are taken to be in psychology and identifies the goals of the psychological theories of concepts. In psychology, concepts are characterized as being those bodies of knowledge that are stored in long-term memory and that are used by default in the processes underlying most, if not all, higher cognitive competences when they result in judgments about the referents of these concepts. Theories of concepts attempt to describe the knowledge stored in concepts, the format of concepts, the cognitive processes that use concepts, the acquisition of concepts, and the localization of concepts in the brain. By doing so, they can explain the properties of people's higher cognitive competences. Alternative characterizations of concepts by Prinz, Barsalou, and Dennett are criticized.

Keywords:   cognitive processes, cognitive competences, long-term memory, higher cognition, Prinz, Barsalou

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