The most widely shared conception of concepts, deeply rooted in everyday thinking, is here dubbed the ‘classical theory’ and associated with the views of Bertrand Russell (its main tenets are outlined in an appendix). The chapter surveys the optimistic portrait of human capacity that this picture ordains, as well as sketching the awkward tensions for which it is often criticized. Central in its narratives is the notion of ‘classical gluing’: words align with the world's attributes when an agent grasps the ‘contents’ of the attribute and aligns them with a suitable predicate. Such ‘classical gluing’ functions as a hidden premise within a greater portion of philosophical thinking than is generally recognized.
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