Palabra y concepto: acercamiento a un eliminativismo conceptual en ciencia cognitiva [Word and concept: an approach to concept eliminativism in cognitive science]


In this paper, I focus on a metatheoretical question about the theory of concepts in cognitive science: Is the positing of concepts necessary? To answer this question, I take as my starting point the assumption that concepts are unobservable theoretical entities posited to serve of both explanatory and coherence purposes. Based on this, I make a distinction between the desiderata of an ideal theory of concepts put forward by Fodor (1998) and Prinz (2002) in explanatory desiderata and theoretical desiderata. As theoretical desiderata are compromises imposed by the Representational Theory of Mind, their acceptance is not a requirement. I will then identify the explananda that concepts are posited to explain by analizing only the explanatory desiderata. Once they have been identified, I will put forward both alternative descriptions of the phenomena and plausible explanations of them in those terms. Thus, I expect to overturn the foundation of what has been considered as the main argument for the existence of concepts: their exclusivity as explanations of their explananda. I conclude with some remarks on the theoretical and metatheoretical consequences of the proposed arguments.

In Revista Colombiana de Filosofia de las Ciencias 14(29)

Main text is in Spanish.