The importance of concepts

Sawyer, Sarah (2018) The importance of concepts. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 118 (2). pp. 127-147. ISSN 1467-9264

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Words change meaning over time. Some meaning shift is accompanied by a corresponding change in subject matter; some meaning shift is not. In this paper I argue that an account of linguistic meaning can accommodate the first kind of case, but that a theory of concepts is required to accommodate the second. Where there is stability of subject matter through linguistic change, it is concepts that provide the stability. The stability provided by concepts allows for genuine disagreement and ameliorative change in the context of conceptual engineering.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Concepts, linguistic meaning, externalism, mental content, conceptual engineering, meaning change.
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > Philosophy
Depositing User: Sarah Sawyer
Date Deposited: 17 May 2018 15:58
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2021 18:51

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