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Empirical concepts: Their meaning and its emergence

Radder, Hans (2022) Empirical concepts: Their meaning and its emergence. [Preprint]

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Abstract

This article presents a detailed, novel account of the emergence of (the meaning of) empirical concepts. Acquiring experience and empirical concepts is shown to be the result of multifaceted, cognitive processes, which require both material realization and conceptual interpretation. Generally speaking, the meaning of empirical concepts consists of several distinct components, but it includes at least a structuring and an abstracting component. These two meaning components are abstract entities, which can be justifiably interpreted as real objects.
On this basis, I address the subject of emergence. The primary claim is that the abstracting meaning component (but not the structuring one) emerges from its underlying empirical processes: it both depends on and transcends these processes. This claim is expounded by discussing relevant similarities and dissimilarities between the emergence of abstract meanings and a range of central features of emergence prominent in recent debates on this topic. The conception of empirical concepts with emergent abstracting meaning components involves an interpretation that avoids the problematic extremes of both empiricism and Platonism.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Radder, Hansh.radder@vu.nl0000000190078650
Additional Information: The 2022 preprint has been published: Radder, Hans (2023). Empirical concepts: Their meaning and its emergence. Global Philosophy (former title:Axiomathes) 33, article 8: 1-23. Freely accessible at https://rdcu.be/c4dJQ
Keywords: Empirical processes and concepts; structuring and abstracting meaning components; abstract but real objects; emergence of the abstracting meaning components
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Experimentation
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
Depositing User: Dr Hans Radder
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2023 14:33
Last Modified: 27 Jan 2023 14:33
Item ID: 21687
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Experimentation
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
Date: 2022
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/21687

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