Polish Journal of Philosophy

Volume 8, Issue 1, Spring 2014

Jack M. C. Kwong
Pages 7-23

Why Concepts Should Not Be Pluralized or Eliminated

Concept Pluralism and Concept Eliminativism are two positions recently proposed in the philosophy and the psychology of concepts. Both of these theories are motivated by the view that all current theories of concepts are empirically and methodologically inadequate and hold in common the assumption that for any category that can be represented in thought, a person can possess multiple, distinct concepts of it. In this paper, I will challenge these in light of a third theory, Conceptual Atomism, which addresses and dispels the contentious issues. In particular, I contend that Conceptual Atomism, when properly understood, is empirically adequate and can overcome difficulties that plague Pluralism and Eliminativism.

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