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Concepts á la modal: an extended review of Prinz's Furnishing the mind

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In Furnishing the mind , Prinz defends a view of concept representation that assumes all representations are rooted in perception. This view is attractive, because it makes clear how concepts could be learned from experience in the world. In this paper, we discuss three limitations of the view espoused by Prinz. First, the central proposal requires more detail in order to support the claim that all representations are modal. Second, it is not clear that a theory of concepts must make a realist assumption. Third, the arguments focus on object categories that can be described by features, which are only one of many types of categories. Despite the flaws in the book, however, it clearly highlights a road that can be taken by those interested in defending an empiricist view of concepts.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2004

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