Behavioral and Brain Sciences



Open Peer Commentary
Millikan, R. G.: A common structure for concepts of individuals, stuffs, and real kinds: More Mama, more milk, and more mouse

Different structures for concepts of individuals, stuffs, and real kinds: One Mama, more milk, and many mice


Paul Bloom a1
a1 Department of Psychology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 bloom@u.arizona.edu

Abstract

Although our concepts of “Mama,” “milk,” and “mice” have much in common, the suggestion that they are identical in structure in the mind of the prelinguistic child is mistaken. Even infants think about objects as different from substances and appreciate the distinction between kinds (e.g., mice) and individuals (e.g., Mama). Such cognitive capacities exist in other animals as well, and have important adaptive consequences.



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