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Conventional Realism and Political InquiryChanneling Wittgenstein$
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John G. Gunnell

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226661278

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226661308.001.0001

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Mentalism and the Problem of Concepts

Mentalism and the Problem of Concepts

(p.34) 2 Mentalism and the Problem of Concepts
Conventional Realism and Political Inquiry

John G. Gunnell

University of Chicago Press

This chapter focuses on a distinct and pervasive instance of the problems associated with what the chapter designates as the “mind-first” attitude in both philosophy and political inquiry. It critically discusses the manner in which, in both philosophy and political inquiry, concepts have typically been conceived as mental objects, and, as part of the argument for conventional realism, it advances an alternative analysis of concepts as forms of linguistic usage. This chapter also examines the persistent but, what it claims is, the futile search for the theoretical universality of politics.

Keywords:   concepts, concept-words, mind-first attitude, the political

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