Acta Analytica

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 369-391

First online:

Concepts and Perceptual Belief: How (Not) to Defend Recognitional Concepts

  • Bradley RivesAffiliated withPhilosophy Department, Indiana University of Pennsylvania Email author 

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Recognitional concepts have the following characteristic property: thinkers are disposed to apply them to objects merely on the basis of undergoing certain perceptual experiences. I argue that a prominent strategy for defending the existence of constitutive connections among concepts, which appeals to thinkers’ semantic-cum-conceptual intuitions, cannot be used to defend the existence of recognitional concepts. I then outline and defend an alternative argument for the existence of recognitional concepts, which appeals to certain psychological laws.


Concepts Perception Recognitional concepts Concept atomism Conceptual role semantics