Incomplete understanding of concepts and knowing in part what something is
Keywords:concepts, knowledge, knowledge-wh, partial knowledge, Burge, incomplete understanding.
Burge (1979) famously argued that one can have thoughts involving a concept C even if one’s understanding of C is incomplete. Even though this view has been extremely influential, it has also been taken by critics as less than clear. The aim of this paper is to show that the cases imagined by Burge (1979) as being ones in which incomplete understanding of concepts is involved can be made clearer given an account of direct concept ascriptions—such as “Peter has the concept of arthritis”—according to which these ascriptions are to be analysed in terms of ascriptions of the knowledge of what something is. The upshot is that the cases imagined by Burge (1979) can be explained is terms of the idea of subjects knowing in part what something is.
Bach, K. 1987. Thought and Reference. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Ball, D. 2009. There Are No Phenomenal Concepts. Mind, 118: 935-962.
Burge, T. 1979. Individualism and the Mental. Midwest Studies in Philosophy, 4: 73–121.
Burge, T. 1993. Concepts, Definitions, and Meaning. Metaphilosophy, 24: 309-27.
Dretske, F. 1981. The Pragmatic Dimension of Knowledge. Philosophical Studies, 40: 363–79.
Fodor, J. 1981. The Present Status of the Innateness Controversy. In his Representations: Philosophical Essays on the Foundations of Cognitive Science. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
George, B. R. 2013. Knowing-Wh, Mention-Some Readings, and Non-reducibility. Thought 2: 166–77.
Greonendijk, J.; Stokhof, M. 1982. Semantic Analysis of ‘Wh’-complements. Linguistics and Philosophy, 5: 175–233.
Greonendijk, J.; Stokhof, M. 1984. Studies on the Semantics of Questions and the Pragmatics of Answers. Joint PhD. diss., University of Amsterdam.
Greonendijk, J.; Stokhof, M. 2011. Questions. In: J.V. Benthem and A.T.Meulen (eds.), Handbook of Logic and Language, pp.1059-1032. London: Elsevier.
Karttunen, L. 1977. Syntax and Semantics of Questions. Linguistics and Philosophy, 1: 3–44.
Laurence, S.; Margolis, E. 1999. Concepts and Cognitive Science. In: E.Margolis and S. Laurence (eds.), Concepts: Core Readings, pp. 3-81. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Pavese, C. 2017. Know-how and Gradability. Philosophical Review, 126: 345-383.
Peacocke, C. 1992. A Study of Concepts. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Stanley, J. 2005. Knowledge and Practical Interests. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Stanley, J. 2011. Know How. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Stanley, J; Williamson, T. 2001. Knowing How. The Journal of Philosophy, 98: 411–44.
Theiler, N.; Roelofsen, F.; Aloni, M. 2016. Truthful Resolutions: A New Perspective on False-Answer Sensitivity. Semantics and Linguistic Theory, 26: 122–41.
Travis, C. 2000. Unshadowed Thought: Representation in Thought and Language. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Wikforss, Å. 2001. Social Externalism and Conceptual Errors. Philosophical Quarterly, 51:217–231.
Wikforss, Å. Incomplete Understanding of Concepts. Oxford Handbooks Online. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 1-26.
Wittgenstein, L. 1953. Philosophical Investigations. G.E.M. Anscombe (trans.). Oxford: Blackwell.
Copyright (c) 2020 André J. Abath
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Base available in www.periodicos.ufsc.br.