Jun 16, 2014
What is a concept?
Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Boltzmannstraße 22, 14195 Berlin, Deutschland
In his book ‘Concepts. Introduction à l’analyse’ (Ed. du Cerf, 2010, rep. Flammarion, 2013), Jocelyn Benoist has put forward a theory of concepts drawing on the resources of the contemporary philosophy of language and mind. He treats concepts as normative structures defining the multifarious ways of our commitments to reality. He emphasizes their flexibility, their boundedness, and their historicity. Thus, he wants to lay the foundation for what he calls a contextualist philosophy of mind. In his talk he will summarize the essential results of the book. He will particularly focus on the problem of the ‘generality’ of concepts. He will debunk some usual misinterpretations of that essential property, and show how, if correctly interpreted, it squares with contextuality.