Philosophical Studies

, Volume 149, Issue 3, pp 401–410 | Cite as

Précis of Doing without Concepts

  • Edouard Machery

The study of concepts is in an odd state of disarray. Cognitive scientists working on categorization, induction, and reasoning have discovered a dazzling number of phenomena, but these findings have yet to be organized in a coherent theoretical framework. In addition, after 20 years of controversy, there is little sign that philosophers and psychologists are converging toward an agreement about the very nature of concepts. Doing without Concepts attempts to remedy this state of affairs. In this précis, I review the main points and arguments developed at greater length in Doing without Concepts, and I conclude that abandoning the very notion of concept is probably required to remedy the state of disarray of the current study of concepts.

“Concept” in cognitive science and in philosophy

In Chapters 1 and 2, I describe the notions of concept that are typically used in cognitive science and in philosophy. My goal is threefold: to make explicit cognitive scientists’ notion of concept, to...


Cognitive Scientist Natural Kind Propositional Attitude Distinct Process Scientific Term 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of History and Philosophy of ScienceUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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