BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    Holism and eclecticism in the theory of concepts

    Chater, N. and Oaksford, Mike (1993) Holism and eclecticism in the theory of concepts. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology 5 (2), pp. 173-182. ISSN 0954-1446.

    Full text not available from this repository.


    Howard (1992) defines concepts as the information that a person has about a category, and argues for an eclectic theory of concepts on the basis of this definition. We argue that this definition is unacceptable and hence that eclecticism does not follow. First, the definition is circular as it stands. Secondly, when it is modified to avoid circularity, it implies conceptual holism, according to which concepts are not useful explanatory constructs in psychology. Thirdly, we argue that Howard's argument relies essentially on this unacceptable definition: alternative accounts of concepts, namely categorisational or representational views, do not support it. Having countered the argument for eclecticism, we then argue against it directly on methodological grounds.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2016 10:38
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:26


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item