Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Author's Response
Millikan, R. G.: A common structure for concepts of individuals, stuffs, and real kinds: More Mama, more milk, and more mouse

Words, concepts, and entities: With enemies like these, I don't need friends

Ruth Garrett Millikan a1
a1 Department of Philosophy, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269-2054 [email protected]


A number of clarifications of the target article and some corrections are made. I clarify which concepts the thesis was intended to be about, what “descriptionism” means, the difference between “concepts” and “conceptions,” and why extensions are not determined by conceptions. I clarify the meaning of “substances,” how one knows what inductions to project over them, the connection with “basic level categories,” how it is determined what substance a given substance concept is of, how equivocation in concepts occurs, and the role of language in the conception of substances. Finally, I clarify exactly why I said that concepts of individuals, real kinds, and stuffs have “a common structure,”