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Concepts – Where Cognitive Science Went Wrong - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Concepts: Where Cognitive Science Went Wrong

Jerry A. Fodor


Jerry Fodor presents a strikingly original theory of the basic constituents of thought. He suggests that the heart of a cognitive science is its theory of concepts, and that cognitive scientists have gone badly wrong in many areas because their assumptions about concepts have been seriously mistaken. Fodor argues compellingly for an atomistic theory of concepts, and maintains that future work on human cognition should build upon new foundations. He starts by demolishing the rival theories that have prevailed in recent years—that concepts are definitions, that they are prototypes or stereotypes ... More

Keywords: analyticity, cognition, cognitive development, cognitive psychology, cognitive science, complex concepts, compositionality, concept acquisition, concepts, conceptual atomism, definitions, empiricism, innateness, intentionality, lexical decomposition, primitive concepts, productivity, propositional attitudes, prototypes, rationalism, representational Theory of Mind, stereotypes, systematicity

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1998 Print ISBN-13: 9780198236368
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003 DOI:10.1093/0198236360.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jerry A. Fodor, author
Rutgers University, New Jersey
Author Webpage