more from H.H. Price

Single Idea 9030

[catalogued under 18. Thought / E. Abstraction / 1. Abstract Thought]

Full Idea

An abstract idea may have a dispositional as well as an occurrent interpretation. ..A man who possesses the concept Dog, when he is actually perceiving a dog can recognize that it is one, and can think about dogs when he is not perceiving any dog.

Gist of Idea

Abstractions can be interpreted dispositionally, as the ability to recognise or imagine an item


H.H. Price (Thinking and Experience [1953], Ch.IX)

Book Reference

Price,H.H.: 'Thinking and Experience' [Hutchinson 1953], p.276

A Reaction

Ryle had just popularised the 'dispositional' account of mental events. Price is obviously right. The man may also be able to use the word 'dog' in sentences, but presumably dogs recognise dogs, and probably dream about dogs too.