On Clear and Confused Ideas

On Clear and Confused Ideas : An Essay about Substance Concepts

3.78 (9 ratings by Goodreads)
3.78 (9 ratings by Goodreads)
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Written by one of today's most creative and innovative philosophers, Ruth Garrett Millikan, this book examines basic empirical concepts; how they are acquired, how they function, and how they have been misrepresented in the traditional philosophical literature. Millikan places cognitive psychology in an evolutionary context where human cognition is assumed to be an outgrowth of primitive forms of mentality, and assumed to have 'functions' in the biological sense. Of particular interest are her discussions of the nature of abilities as different from dispositions, her detailed analysis of the psychological act of reidentifying substances, and her critique of the language of thought for mental representation. In a radical departure from current philosophical and psychological theories of concepts, this book provides the first in-depth discussion on the psychological act of reidentification.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 276 pages
  • 152 x 227 x 18mm | 380g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 3 Line drawings, unspecified
  • 052162553X
  • 9780521625531
  • 1,034,687

Table of contents

Preface; 1. Introducing substance concepts; 2. Substances: the ontology; 3. Classifying, identifying, and the function of substance concepts; 4. The nature of abilities: how is extension determined?; 5. More mama, more milk and more mouse: the structure and development of substance concepts; 6. Substance concepts through language: knowing the meanings of words; 7. How we make our ideas clear: epistemology for empirical concepts; 8. Content and vehicle in perception; 9. Sames versus sameness in conceptual contents and vehicles; 10. Grasping sameness; 11. In search of Strawsonian modes of presentation; 12. Rejecting identity judgments and Fregean modes; 13. Knowing what I'm thinking of; 14. How extensions of new substance concepts are fixed: how substance concepts acquire intentionality; 15. Cognitive luck: substance concepts in an evolutionary frame; Appendices; References; Index.
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Review quote

"The book has the rare merit of combining rigorous physical analysis with refreshingly original ideas." Philosophy and Phenomenological Research
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Rating details

9 ratings
3.78 out of 5 stars
5 22% (2)
4 44% (4)
3 22% (2)
2 11% (1)
1 0% (0)
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