The Origin of Concepts

Paperback | May 27, 2011

bySusan Carey

not yet rated|write a review
Only human beings have a rich conceptual repertoire with concepts like tort, entropy, Abelian group, mannerism, icon and deconstruction. How have humans constructed these concepts? And once they have been constructed by adults, how do children acquire them? While primarily focusing on thesecond question, in The Origin of Concepts, Susan Carey shows that the answers to both overlap substantially.Carey begins by characterizing the innate starting point for conceptual development, namely systems of core cognition. Representations of core cognition are the output of dedicated input analyzers, as with perceptual representations, but these core representations differ from perceptualrepresentations in having more abstract contents and richer functional roles. Carey argues that the key to understanding cognitive development lies in recognizing conceptual discontinuities in which new representational systems emerge that have more expressive power than core cognition and are alsoincommensurate with core cognition and other earlier representational systems. Finally, Carey fleshes out Quinian bootstrapping, a learning mechanism that has been repeatedly sketched in the literature on the history and philosophy of science. She demonstrates that Quinian bootstrapping is a majormechanism in the construction of new representational resources over the course of children's cognitive development.Carey shows how developmental cognitive science resolves aspects of long-standing philosophical debates about the existence, nature, content, and format of innate knowledge. She also shows that understanding the processes of conceptual development in children illuminates the historical process bywhich concepts are constructed, and transforms the way we think about philosophical problems about the nature of concepts and the relations between language and thought.

Pricing and Purchase Info

$29.95

Ships within 1-3 weeks
Ships free on orders over $25

From the Publisher

Only human beings have a rich conceptual repertoire with concepts like tort, entropy, Abelian group, mannerism, icon and deconstruction. How have humans constructed these concepts? And once they have been constructed by adults, how do children acquire them? While primarily focusing on thesecond question, in The Origin of Concepts, Susa...

Susan Carey is a Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. She is a renowned expert on conceptual development and is known for introducing the concept of fast mapping, whereby children learn the meanings of words after a single exposure, and for integrating work on conceptual change in the history of science with work on conceptu...

other books by Susan Carey

Lady In Red
Lady In Red

Kobo ebook|Apr 22 2012

$0.00

see all books by Susan Carey
Format:PaperbackDimensions:608 pages, 6.1 × 9.21 × 1.5 inPublished:May 27, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199838801

ISBN - 13:9780199838806

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of The Origin of Concepts

Extra Content

Table of Contents

1. Some Preliminaries2. The Initial Representational Repertoire: The Empiricist Picture3. Core Object Cognition4. Core Cognition: Number5. Core Cognition: Agency6. Representations of Cause7. Language and Core Cognition8. Beyond Core Cognition: Natural Number9. Beyond the Numeral List Representation of Integers10. Beyond Core Object Cognition11. The Process of Conceptual Change12. Conclusion I: The Origins of Concepts13. Conclusion II: Implications for a Theory of ConceptsReferencesIndex of NamesIndex of Subjects