Philosophy and Phenomenological Research
Author's Final Manuscript
In contrast to earlier views that argued for a particular kind of concept (e.g. prototypes), several recent accounts have proposed that there are multiple distinct kinds of concepts, or that there is a plurality of concepts for each category. In this paper, I argue for a novel account of concepts as pluralistic hybrids. According to this view, concepts are pluralistic because there are several concepts for the same category whose use is heavily determined by context. In addition, concepts are hybrids because they typically link together several different kinds of information that are used in the same cognitive processes. This alternative view accounts for the available empirical data, allows for greater cognitive flexibility than Machery’s recent account, and overcomes several objections to traditional hybrid views.
Rice, Collin. 2016. "Concepts as Pluralistic Hybrids." Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92.3: 597-619.