Clusters: On the Structure of Lexical Concepts



The paper argues for a decompositionalist account of lexical concepts. In particular, it presents and argues for a cluster decompositionalism, a view that claims that the complexes a token of a word corresponds to on a given occasion are typically built out of a determinate set of basic concepts, most of which are present on most other occasions of use of the word. The first part of the paper discusses some explanatory virtues of decompositionalism in general. The second singles out cluster decompositionalism as the best explanation of the variability of meaning. The third part is devoted to responding to some problems.