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Are Sensory Concepts Learned by “Abstraction” from Experience?
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.ORCID iD: par.sundstrom@umu.se
2018 (English)In: Erkenntnis, ISSN 0165-0106, E-ISSN 1572-8420Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

In recent years, many philosophers and scientists have argued or accepted that it is impossible to learn primitive sensory concepts like “blue” and “red”. This paper defends a more qualified picture. I try to show that some received characterisations of “learning” are nonequivalent and point towards different learning-nonlearning distinctions. And, on some ways of specifying such a distinction, it might be correct that we do not and cannot “learn” a concept of blue. But on other ways of specifying such a distinction, we can and do sometimes “learn” a concept of blue from experiences of blue. The latter part of the argument connects with some traditional “abstractionist” views, and I defend the present claims in view of some widely circulated concerns about “abstracting” concepts from experience. I close with some reflections on how one might, in view of all this, think about “the learning-nonlearning distinction”.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2018.
Keywords [en]
concept learning, sensory concepts, nativism, abstractionism, Fodor
National Category
Philosophy
Research subject
Theoretical Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-146884DOI: 10.1007/s10670-018-0002-zScopus ID: 2-s2.0-85045460424OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-146884DiVA, id: diva2:1199668
Available from: 2018-04-21 Created: 2018-04-21 Last updated: 2018-06-11

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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Output format
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