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Colloquium Talk: Louise Antony
September 25 @ 4:00 pm
Dr. Louise Antony (UMass Amherst)
“Not Rational, But Not Brutely Causal Either: A Response to Fodor on Concept Acquisition”
Abstract: Jerry Fodor has argued that concept acquisition cannot be a psychological or “rational-causal” process, but can only be a “brute-causal” process of acquisition. This position generates the “doorknob → DOORKNOB” problem: why are concepts typically acquired on the basis of experience with items in their extensions? I argue that Fodor’s taxonomy of causal processes needs supplementation, and characterize a third type: what I call “intelligible-causal processes.” Armed with this new category I present what I regard as a better response than Fodor’s to the doorknob → DOORKNOB problem.
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