[quickphilosophy] Re: Fodor on Concepts III: Other Arguments Against BCP

  • From: wittrsl@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • To: quickphilosophy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 03 Sep 2010 00:24:59 -0000

--- In quickphilosophy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Ron Allen <wavelets@...> wrote:
> Right: without it is.
> There might be two cases:
> 1. Someone X claims to have a concept, but can't sort on the concept.
> 2. Someon Y claims X has a concept, but X can't sort on the concept.
> Both are problematic. 
> In (1), X really can't show the concept possessed. At most X can say that he 
> has the concept of a dieseldown, but can't sort dieseldowns. What kind of 
> contemplation can X enjoy with this concept? How can X know that he's 
> contemplating dieseldowns, when he's not even sure that he's not 
> contemplating a Meyer lemon, a lugnut, or an echidna? Thus, in (1) no example 
> could be given that could convince us. It would just be X's assertion. In 
> this case, Fodor's paper could have been just one sentence.
> In (2), the concept could be explained by Y, and Y could also show that X 
> can't sort the concept explained. But, how can Y show that X has the concept? 
> Here, I think the only chance Y has of demonstrating the point is to argue 
> that somehow X has a subconscious concept of, say, a dieseldown, and shows 
> some behaviors that are definitive of dieseldown-concept possession. But, 
> confronted by examples of dieseldowns and non-dieseldowns, X gets befuddled, 
> withdraws, and can't sort them. It's a possible line of attack. One 
> sometimes sees in sociological research arguments to the effect that there 
> exists within a population proclivities that are delineable but not assented 
> to by the individuals in the population. Everyone says, sure I'd vote for a 
> woman police chief, but then she loses in the general election. That sort of 
> thing. It would require an involved argument. But, I could see where the 
> unconscious concept could be shown in a population, but I still
>  wonder if there isn't a fundamental contradiction in showing it for a 
> person, such as X. I wonder if in hoping to establish this point, that Y 
> would not have to point to examples of X interacting with dieseldowns and 
> non-dieseldowns, and that this would simply be an unconsciously expressed 
> epistemic criterion. If Y doesn't point to examples like this, where there is 
> at least Mr. X and a dieseldown sometimes, how can Y show that X has the 
> concept?
> Thanks!
> --Ron

How about BEAUTY?  Couldn't I have that concept without being able to sort 
beautiful things?  KNOWLEDGE is another problematic one for a sorting 
criterion, I think.  


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