Type-token representations in conceptual representation

Abstract

Concepts of kinds of things (e.g. DOG), have the dual function of specifying how to think about indefinitely many things as well as providing the means for thinking about a single abstract kind which is constituted by indefinitely many instances. In this talk, I sketch a theory of conceptual representation that places this dual function of concepts at its core. The theory is shown to provide a natural way of capturing four key characteristics of the ways in which we think about kinds and instances of kinds. These characteristics are not accounted for by standard approaches to conceptual representation. In the final section of the paper, I consider how the phenomena discussed in this paper may be accommodated by current approaches to conceptual representation.


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