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Steven Pinker on ‘Concepts & Reasoning’


Concepts & Reasoning

Professor Steven Pinker begins by making the distinction between concepts and reasoning. Concepts are known as the units of thought and reasoning is what you do with those thoughts. Professor Pinker discusses concepts as mental representations of individuals and of categories – categorisation is an important feature of the cognitive process. The work of Wittgenstein is discussed, as well as the rules associated with categorisation. Professor Pinker then goes on to the distinction between normative and descriptive models and deductive reasoning, as well as the anomalies to reasoning, such as risk perception and other misconceptions.