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Incomplete Understanding of Concepts
Stockholm University. (Philosophy)
2017 (English)In: Oxford Handbooks Online, Vol. MarchArticle, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article discusses the thesis that a subject can have a concept, think thoughts containing it, that she incompletely understands. The central question concerns how to construe the distinction between having a concept and understanding it. Two important versions of the thesis are distinguished: a metasemantic version and an epistemic version. According to the first, the subject may have concept C without being a fully competent user, in virtue of deference to other speakers or to the world. According to the second, the subject may have a concept without being able to provide a proper explication of it. It is argued that whereas the epistemic version is plausible, the metasemantic version faces some challenges. First, it needs to be explained precisely how deference enables a speaker to have C. Second, metasemantic incomplete understanding is in tension with the idea that concepts serve to capture the subject’s cognitive perspective.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford, 2017. Vol. March
Keyword [en]
incomplete understanding, concept, meaning, Tyler Burge, metasemantics, deference, explication, conceptions, cognitive role
National Category
Humanities Humanities
Research subject
Philosophy; Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-141011OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-141011DiVA: diva2:1085208
Available from: 2017-03-28 Created: 2017-03-28 Last updated: 2017-03-28

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