Are concepts a natural kind? On concept eliminativism




Concept Eliminativism
Concept Pluralism
Concept Hybridism
Natural Kinds

How to Cite

Löhr, G. (2023). Are concepts a natural kind? On concept eliminativism. Philosophy and the Mind Sciences, 4. (Original work published July 19, 2023)


Concept eliminativists argue that we should eliminate the term ‘concept’ from our vocabulary in psychology because there is no single natural kind that is picked out by it. I argue that the most developed version of concept eliminativism by Edouard Machery depends on the assumption that concepts are defined as stable and context-independent bodies of information. It is this assumption that leads Machery to eliminativism and it is an assumption we have reason to reject. Another assumption that leads to the eliminativist conclusion and that we have reason to reject is that the type of content represented in long-term memory is the relevant property based on which we should individuate certain natural kinds in cognitive psychology. Finally, I argue that certain pieces of information are functionally integrated enough to meet the conditions for being a natural kind.


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