This chapter focuses upon the role of the term ‘concept’ in the management of everyday and scientific tasks: how we utilize the term as a measure of our preparedness with respect to designing an invention, predicting an outcome, fulfilling a recipe, and other tasks of that nature. It is argued that standard views (dubbed the ‘classical picture’ here) frequently exaggerate our anticipatory capacities by presuming that ‘concepts’ embody simple repositories of invariant directive instructions, whereas in real life usage is affected by far more variegated sources than we commonly recognize. Through a series of case studies drawn from science and everyday life, the book attempts to delimit our real state of ‘conceptual preparedness’ in more realistic terms, without tumbling into the intractable scepticism of Wittgenstein's celebrated ‘rule following’ considerations.
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