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Hardcover | $61.00 Short | £50.95 | 728 pp. | 7 x 9 in | 11 color illus., 35 b&w illus. | May 2015 | ISBN: 9780262028639
eBook | $43.00 Short | May 2015 | ISBN: 9780262326858
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The Conceptual Mind

New Directions in the Study of Concepts


The study of concepts has advanced dramatically in recent years, with exciting new findings and theoretical developments. Core concepts have been investigated in greater depth and new lines of inquiry have blossomed, with researchers from an ever broader range of disciplines making important contributions. In this volume, leading philosophers and cognitive scientists offer original essays that present the state-of-the-art in the study of concepts. These essays, all commissioned for this book, do not merely present the usual surveys and overviews; rather, they offer the latest work on concepts by a diverse group of theorists as well as discussions of the ideas that should guide research over the next decade. The book is an essential companion volume to the earlier Concepts: Core Readings, the definitive source for classic texts on the nature of concepts.

The essays cover concepts as they relate to animal cognition, the brain, evolution, perception, and language, concepts across cultures, concept acquisition and conceptual change, concepts and normativity, concepts in context, and conceptual individuation. The contributors include such prominent scholars as Susan Carey, Nicola Clayton, Jerry Fodor, Douglas Medin, Joshua Tenenbaum, and Anna Wierzbicka.

Aurore Avarguès-Weber, Eef Ameel, Megan Bang, H. Clark Barrett, Pascal Boyer, Elisabeth Camp, Susan Carey, Daniel Casasanto, Nicola S. Clayton, Dorothy L. Cheney, Vyvyan Evans, Jerry A. Fodor, Silvia Gennari, Tobias Gerstenberg, Martin Giurfa, Noah D. Goodman, J. Kiley Hamlin, James A. Hampton, Mutsumi Imai, Charles W. Kalish, Frank Keil, Jonathan Kominsky, Stephen Laurence, Gary Lupyan, Edouard Machery, Bradford Z. Mahon, Asifa Majid, Barbara C. Malt, Eric Margolis, Douglas Medin, Nancy J. Nersessian, bethany ojalehto, Anna Papafragou, Joshua M. Plotnik, Noburo Saji, Robert M. Seyfarth, Joshua B. Tenenbaum, Sandra Waxman, Daniel A. Weiskopf, Anna Wierzbicka

About the Editors

Eric Margolis is Professor of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia. Margolis and Laurence are coeditors of Concepts: Core Readings (MIT Press).

Stephen Laurence is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sheffield. Margolis and Laurence are coeditors of Concepts: Core Readings (MIT Press).


“Concepts remain one of the most important areas of research within cognitive science, and in this volume the foremost contemporary researchers on concepts advance, broaden, elaborate, and elucidate a range of topics that strike at the very core of what it means to possess a mind. Margolis and Laurence have done us cognitive scientists the great favor of setting our agenda for decades to come.”
Lawrence Shapiro, Professor, University of Wisconsin–Madison; author of Embodied Cognition; and editor of The Routledge Handbook of Embodied Cognition
The Conceptual Mind is an indispensable tool for anyone interested in the interdisciplinary study of the mind. In 1999, Eric Margolis and Stephen Laurence produced their now classic anthology, Concepts: Core Readings, which has guided a generation of researchers through the foundational debates about concepts. The new volume goes further in providing a well-organized collection of essential readings on the various sub-issues in the study of concepts: the relation between concepts and the brain, concepts and evolution, animal concepts, and many other core themes. It provides a thorough overview of where interdisciplinary research on concepts stands right now. Highly recommended!”
Tim Crane, Knightbridge Professor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge, and author of The Mechanical Mind


Named an Outstanding Academic Title by Choice Magazine