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date: 12 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter describes three different approaches to the philosophical study of concepts: The semantic approach, which is concerned with the semantic content of scientific concepts, the cognitive approach, which views scientific concepts as psychological entities and brings the psychological research on lay concepts to bear on theorizing about them, and the experimental approach that brings experimental tools drawn from psychology or sociology to the study of scientific concepts. The authors express doubts about the prospects of the semantic approach, illustrate the importance of taking into account the complexities of the psychology of concepts for the cognitive approach, and defend the experimental approach.

Keywords: concepts, meaning, incommensurability, prototype, exemplar, theory, cognitive science, gene, innateness, species

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