Are Concepts Mental Representations or Abstracta?

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Abstract:

I argue that thoughts and concepts are mental representations rather than abstracta. I propose that the most important difference between the two views is that the mentalist believes that there are concept and thought tokens as well as types; this reveals that the dispute is not terminological but ontological. I proceed to offer an argument for mentalism. The key step is to establish that concepts and thoughts have lexical as well as semantic properties. I then show that this entails that concepts and thoughts are susceptible to the type/token distinction. I finish by considering some objections to the argument.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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