[quickphilosophy] Re: 1.12; 1.13; 1.2 & 1.21

  • From: wittrsl@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • To: quickphilosophy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 09 Sep 2010 10:44:24 -0000

--- In quickphilosophy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, "Craig T. Spratt" <ctspratt@...> wrote:
> Participants: I wouldn't have read the Fodor article had it not been
> referred through this group; I'm glad to have read it. I've followed with
> interest the comments of what I will term the leading commenters in the
> group.  Getting back to the article, I liked one statement by Fodor, to the
> effect that to have the concept Dog is to be able to think about dogs as
> such.  That idea had some appeal, limited to just that remark.  I think it
> has somewhat less force to say, as he also did, that to be able to think
> about dogs as such is to have the concept "dogs."  If I don't know too much
> about the border area of what makes a dog strictly just a dog and not a fox,
> wolf, or coyote, I might still be able to think about dogs as such, and be
> correct in recognizing dogs when I am shown typical dogs, even a wide array
> of typical dogs, but still not have a well delineated concept of "dogs,"
> such that I will be able to correctly rule out nearly all the near-dogs that
> happen to actually be foxes, wolves, or coyotes. But what I've said is
> perhaps just a sort of obvious qualifier to what Fodor intended.  I suppose
> now that I've stuck my turtle's head out of the shell, I'll get in all kinds
> of self-contradictory hot water with the other commenters. No problem. I
> don't think that right now I can fit in the God piece that Walter suggests
> for next, so I'll have to dial back in for closer involvement on the next go
> round. When people get around to thinking again about what to do later, I
> have a couple of short pieces that I would like to suggest, but I
> understand, my place in the queue for suggestions of that kind may not be
> reached for a while. ~Craig

Hi, Craig.

Glad you enjoyed the Fodor.  He's very fun to read.  I think your remark to the 
effect that you believe having the concept DOG requires sorting ability puts 
you in league with Ron, me....and, according to Fodor, most of the 20th 
Century.  The main problem with the paper, as I see it, is that most of his 
criticisms are aimed at those who say not just what you have said (and I agree 
with), but also maintain that the sorting ability IS the concept possession.


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