Concept

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A concept is a “cluster of dispositions to be responsive to differences in a particular region of possible worlds”Haslanger (2020), 239

. It enables distinctions and thus represents a class of things in widest sense, from perceivable objects to abstractions and theoretical posits.

Concepts have a set of ideally complementary functions:

There is an ongoing debate whether their contribution to “modelling the world” or to “solving coordination problems” is the original evolved function of concepts (the other one being a later exaptation).This is similar to the question whether the functional or informational character of a Model is the primary one.

In general, Concepts evolve to be useful; they are useful when they fulfil (some of) these functions, which will be judged differently from different social positions.

They can fulfil their functions efficiently because Concepts are compressed models – they make the models’ salient features accessible with less cognitive effort.

Every concept is part of a Concept Network, the position in which determines the concept’s specific function and content.

As compressed models and network components, Concepts are attractors.

To gain more Knowledge as well as Justice, We need both continuity and disruption of concepts, i.e. phases of stabilisation and destabilisation of these attractors.

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