The Rationalist Reply to Fodor's Analyticity and Circularity Challenge

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THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, ISSN: 0495-4548, Vol: 28, Issue: 1, Page: 7-25

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Verdejo, Víctor M.
UPV/EHU Press; Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del País Vasco
Arts and Humanities
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article description
The central Fodorian objections to Inferential Role Semantics (IRS) can be taken to include an 'Analyt-icity Challenge' and a 'Circularity Challenge', which are ultimately challenges to IRS explanations of concept possession. In this paper I present inferential role theories, critically examine those two challenges and point out two misunderstandings to which the challenges are exposed. I then state in detail a rationalist version of IRS and argue that this version meets the Fodorian challenges head on. If sound, this line of argument shows that there is no problem of principle in the consideration of IRS as a good candidate for a theory of concepts.