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Reply to Barbara Malt and Jesse Prinz


  • This symposium is based on a workshop organized on Doing without Concepts by the Center for Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh in March 2009. I am grateful to John Norton for organizing this symposium, to Barbara Malt and Jesse Prinz for participating in this symposium, and to the audience for useful questions and comments. Finally, I am grateful to an anonymous reviewer for her comments.

Edouard Machery, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh, 1017CL, Pittsburgh PA 15260, USA.


In this response to Malt's and Prinz's commentaries, I argue that neo-empiricist hypotheses fail to threaten the argument for the elimination of ‘concept’ because they are unlikely to be true of all concepts, if they are true at all. I also defend the hypothesis that we possess bodies of knowledge retrieved by default from long-term memory, and I argue that prototypes, exemplars, and theories form genuinely distinct concepts.