How Should We Study Concepts in the Cognitive Sciences?

Ruth Hibbert

Abstract


There is considerable variation in the concept of memory employed in different branches of the cognitive and social sciences. This paper is about how a philosopher of science can make sense of this divergence. First I consider the reasons for focussing on concepts specifically. Then I pose a question about the classifying practices of scientists, and consider various methods for investigating the answer. I defend a historically situated case study method as the best option, and suggest some appropriate case studies for the example of the concept of memory.

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