Ideas of Edouard Machery, by Theme

[French, fl. 2009, Professor at the University of Pittsburgh.]

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1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 5. Aims of Philosophy / a. Philosophy as worldly
Philosophy is empty if it does not in some way depend on matters of fact
7. Existence / E. Categories / 1. Categories
Do categories store causal knowledge, or typical properties, or knowledge of individuals?
7. Existence / E. Categories / 2. Categorisation
Are quick and slow categorisation the same process, or quite different?
For each category of objects (such as 'dog') an individual seems to have several concepts
A thing is classified if its features are likely to be generated by that category's causal laws
7. Existence / E. Categories / 5. Category Anti-Realism
There may be ad hoc categories, such as the things to pack in your suitcase for a trip
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / a. Individuation
There may be several ways to individuate things like concepts
14. Science / B. Scientific Theories / 1. Scientific Theory
If a term doesn't pick out a kind, keeping it may block improvements in classification
Vertical arguments say eliminate a term if it picks out different natural kinds in different theories
Horizontal arguments say eliminate a term if it fails to pick out a natural kind
14. Science / C. Induction / 1. Induction
Psychologists use 'induction' as generalising a property from one category to another
'Ampliative' induction infers that all members of a category have a feature found in some of them
17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 4. Connectionism
Connectionists cannot distinguish concept-memories from their background, or the processes
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 1. Thought
We can identify a set of cognitive capacities which are 'higher order'
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 1. Concepts / a. Nature of concepts
Concepts for categorisation and for induction may be quite different
Concept theories aim at their knowledge, processes, format, acquisition, and location
We should abandon 'concept', and just use 'prototype', 'exemplar' and 'theory'
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 1. Concepts / b. Concepts in philosophy
In the philosophy of psychology, concepts are usually introduced as constituents of thoughts
In philosophy theories of concepts explain how our propositional attitudes have content
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 1. Concepts / c. Concepts in psychology
By 'concept' psychologists mean various sorts of representation or structure
Concept theorists examine their knowledge, format, processes, acquisition and location
Psychologists treat concepts as long-term knowledge bodies which lead to judgements
Psychologist treat concepts as categories
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 2. Origin of Concepts / c. Nativist concepts
The concepts OBJECT or AGENT may be innate
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 4. Structure of Concepts / a. Conceptual structure
Concepts should contain working memory, not long-term, because they control behaviour
One hybrid theory combines a core definition with a prototype for identification
Heterogeneous concepts might have conflicting judgements, where hybrid theories will not
Concepts as definitions was rejected, and concepts as prototypes, exemplars or theories proposed
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 4. Structure of Concepts / b. Analysis of concepts
The concepts for a class typically include prototypes, and exemplars, and theories
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 4. Structure of Concepts / c. Classical concepts
Classical theory can't explain facts like typical examples being categorised quicker
Many categories don't seem to have a definition
Classical theory implies variety in processing times, but this does not generally occur
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 4. Structure of Concepts / d. Concepts as prototypes
Knowing typical properties of things is especially useful in induction
The term 'prototype' is used for both typical category members, and the representation
Prototype theories are based on computation of similarities with the prototype
Prototype theorists don't tell us how we select the appropriate prototype
Maybe concepts are not the typical properties, but the ideal properties
It is more efficient to remember the prototype, than repeatedly create it from exemplars
The prototype view predicts that typical members are easier to categorise
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 4. Structure of Concepts / e. Concepts from exemplars
Concepts as exemplars are based on the knowledge of properties of each particular
Exemplar theories need to explain how the relevant properties are selected from a multitude of them
In practice, known examples take priority over the rest of the set of exemplars
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 4. Structure of Concepts / f. Theory theory of concepts
Theory Theory says category concepts are knowledge stores explaining membership
Theory Theory says concepts are explanatory knowledge, and concepts form domains
Theory theorists rely on best explanation, rather than on similarities
If categorisation is not by similarity, it seems to rely on what properties things might have
The theory account is sometimes labelled as 'knowledge' or 'explanation' in approach
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 5. Concepts and Language / a. Concepts and language
The word 'grandmother' may be two concepts, with a prototype and a definition
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 5. Concepts and Language / b. Concepts are linguistic
For behaviourists concepts are dispositions to link category members to names
19. Language / B. Reference / 3. Direct Reference / b. Causal reference
Americans are more inclined to refer causally than the Chinese are
26. Natural Theory / B. Natural Kinds / 1. Natural Kinds
Artifacts can be natural kinds, when they are the object of historical enquiry