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Words and Images – An Essay on the Origin of Ideas - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Words and Images: An Essay on the Origin of Ideas

Christopher Gauker


At least since Locke, philosophers and psychologists have usually held that concepts arise out of sensory perceptions, thoughts are built from concepts, and language enables speakers to convey their thoughts to hearers. This book holds that this tradition is mistaken about both concepts and language. The mind cannot abstract the building blocks of thoughts from perceptual representations. More generally, we have no account of the origin of concepts that grants them the requisite independence from language. The book's alternative is to show that much of cognition consists in thinking by means o ... More

Keywords: concepts, language, cognition, mental imagery, shared goals, conceptual thought, thoughts

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780199599462
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599462.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Christopher Gauker, author
University of Cincinnati
Author Webpage