Jylkkä, J. (2011). Hybrid Extensional Prototype Compositionality. Minds & Machines, 21, 41-56.
It has been argued that prototypes cannot compose,
and that for this reason concepts cannot be prototypes (Osherson &
Smith 1981; Fodor & Lepore 1996; Connolly, Fodor, & Gleitman
2007). In this paper I examine the intensional and extensional approaches
to prototype compositionality, arguing that neither succeeds in their
present formulations. I then propose a hybrid extensional theory of
prototype compositionality, according to which the extension of a complex
concept is determined as a function of what triggers its constituent
prototypes. I argue that the theory escapes the problems traditionally
raised against extensional theories of compositionality.
Jylkkä, J., Railo, H., & Haukioja,
J. (2009). Psychological
essentialism and semantic externalism: evidence for externalism in lay
speakers' language use. Philosophical Psychology, 22, 37-60.
(Non-citable PDF available here)
Abstract: Some experimental studies have recently
claimed to undermine semantic externalism about natural kind terms.
However, it is unclear how philosophical accounts of reference can be
experimentally tested. We present two externalistic adaptations of psychological
placeholder essentialism, a strict externalist and a hybrid externalist
view, which are experimentally testable. We examine Braisby's et al.
(1996) study which claims to undermine externalism, and argue that the
study fails in its aims. We conducted two experiments, the results of
which undermine internalism and the hybrid theory, and support strict
externalism. Our conclusion is that lay speakers' natural kind concepts
involve a belief in an external category essence, which determines reference.
Jylkkä, J. (2009). Why
Fodor's theory of concepts fails. Minds
& Machines, 19, 25-46. (Non-citable PDF available here)
Abstract: Fodor's theory of concepts holds that the
psychological capacities, beliefs or intentions which determine how
we use concepts do not determine reference. Instead, causal relations
of a specific kind between properties and our dispositions to token
a concept are claimed to do so. Fodor does admit that there needs to
be some psychological mechanisms mediating the property - concept tokening
relations, but argues that they are purely accidental for reference.
In contrast, I argue that the actual mechanisms that sustain the reference
determining concept tokening relations are necessary for reference.
Fodor's atomism is thus undermined, since in order to refer with a concept
it is necessary to possess some specific psychological capacities.
Jylkkä, J. (2008). Theories
of natural kind term reference and empirical psychology. Philosophical
Studies, 139, 153-169. (Non-citable PDF available here)
Abstract: In this paper I argue that the causal and
description theories of natural kind term reference involve certain
psychological elements. My main goal is to refine these theories with
the help of empirical psychology of concepts, and to argue that the
refinement process ultimately leads to the dissolution of boundaries
between the two kinds of theories. However, neither the refined theories
nor any other existing theories provide an adequate answer to the question
of what makes natural kind terms rigid. To provide an answer to this
question I conclude my paper by introducing a framework of a unified
theory of natural kind term reference that is built on the empirical
psychology of concepts.
Jylkkä, J. (2008). Concepts
and Reference. Defending a Dual Theory of Natural Kind Concepts.
Reports from the Department of Philosophy vol. 21. Turku, Finland: Painosalama.
Phd thesis, defended 22 November 2008 at the University
of Turku, Finland. Inidividual articles included in the thesis are omitted
in this online version, but they can be found independently above.