Deflated concepts: a reply to Stainton

Barber, Alex (1997). Deflated concepts: a reply to Stainton. Crítica: Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofia, 29(86) pp. 83–105.



(This paper responds to some criticisms made by Robert J. Stainton of an earlier-written but later-published paper, 'The Pleonasticisty of Talk about Concepts'. Philosophical Studies, 89: 53-86, 1998.)

The pleonastic theory of concepts is still viable, notwithstanding criticisms recently brought against it by Robert J. Stainton (Crítica, December 1996). In particular, mastering a concept can be seen as understanding a term that expresses that concept, and seeing it in this way does not threaten the deflationary character of the pleonastic theory given a proper construal of understanding. Moreover, appeals to deeper-than-surface structural constituency of the kind familiar in contemporary linguistics do not necessarily engender a robust interpretation of concept-discourse.

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