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Not rational, but not brutely causal either: A reply to Fodor on concept acquisition

Antony, Louise (2020) Not rational, but not brutely causal either: A reply to Fodor on concept acquisition. THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, 35 (1). pp. 45-57. ISSN 2171-679X

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Abstract

Jerry Fodor has argued that concept acquisition cannot be a psychological or “rational-causal” process, but can only be a “brute-causal” process of acquisition. This position generates the “doorknob → DOORKNOB” problem: why are concepts typically acquired on the basis of experience with items in their extensions? I argue that Fodor’s taxonomy of causal processes needs supplementation, and characterize a third type: what I call “intelligible-causal processes.” Armed with this new category I present what I regard as a better response than Fodor’s to the doorknob → DOORKNOB problem.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Antony, Louiselantony@philos.umass.edu
Additional Information: ISSN: 0495-4548 (print)
Keywords: concept; nativism; acquisition; representation; rational-causal; brute-causal; intelligible-causal
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Concepts and Representations
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Learning and Memory
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
Depositing User: Unnamed user with email theoria@ehu.es
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2020 01:26
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2020 01:26
Item ID: 16969
Journal or Publication Title: THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science
Publisher: Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del País Vasco
Official URL: https://www.ehu.eus/ojs/index.php/THEORIA/article/...
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1387/theoria.21031
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Concepts and Representations
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Learning and Memory
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
Date: January 2020
Page Range: pp. 45-57
Volume: 35
Number: 1
ISSN: 2171-679X
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16969

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