Linguistic Convergence in Verbs for Belief-forming Processes

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This paper has two goals. First, it aims to investigate the empirical assumptions of a recent proposal due to Olsson (forthcoming), according to which the generality problem for process-reliabilism can be approached by recruiting patterns and models from the basic-level research in cognitive psychology. Second, the paper attempts to generalize findings in the basic-level literature pertaining to concrete nouns to the abstract verbs that denote belief-forming processes. I will demonstrate that verbs for belief-forming processes exhibit the kind of linguistic convergence that is characteristic of basic-level words, although these words are not neatly taxonomically organized or associated with large feature sets. Next, I will evaluate and partially validate Olsson's proposal in light of these findings. I will provide some discussion of possible explanations of the results are discussed, as well as the impact these results have for structural models of basic-level advantage, and for the feasibility of the explanatory strategy that these models presuppose. Finally, I will conclude that even though no particular model is compromised by these results, they call into question the underlying explanatory strategy by highlighting its parochial nature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-138
JournalPhilosophical Psychology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Philosophy

Free keywords

  • Basic-Level Categories
  • Mental Terms
  • Reliabilism


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