We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Department of Philosophy

Concept Acquisition and the Role of Language

(27-28th May 2013)

Keynote Speakers: Susan Carey (Harvard), Maggie McGonigle(Edinburgh), Wolfram Hinzen (Durham)

Location: Institute of Advanced Study, Cosin's Hall, Palace Green.

Historically, issues concerning concept acquisition have focused around the nativism/empiricism debate. The central concern was to give an account of how new concepts are formed, and what influence the external world has on such processes (if any). More recently however, a trend in the literature has focused on the way that the nature of concepts might change throughout development. Questions emerge as to how the cognitive abilities in animals and human infant cognition relate to the later developing complex conceptual capacities of adults.

This workshop looks to assess the recent literature on these questions with particular focus on the role of language acquisition in the developmental process. We look to investigate these issues with an interdisciplinary approach, utilising research in linguistics, psychology, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, comparative cognition, and other related fields.

This workshop takes place as part of a broader event entitled ‘Philosophy and Psychology: Integrating Research Across Domains, encompassing two workshops. Please see separate call for participation for the workshop

Titled: Attention and Consciousness (13-14th June 2013).

To register to attend, please email j.t.m.miller[at], or j.h.taylor[at] Places are limited, so please email to reserve a place. There will be a workshop fee of £5 to cover provided refreshments (tea/coffee). We ask that attendees pay the fee on the day whilst registering (cheques payable to ‘Durham University’).

Schedule for ‘Concept Acquisition and the Role of Language’

May 27th-28th 2013.

University of Durham.

Monday 27th May


1.15-2.45- Wolfram Hinzen (Barcelona/Durham)

2.50-3.30- Anna Ciaunica (Fribourg/ Institute of Cognitive Sciences, Lyon)

3.45-4.25- James Miller (Durham)

4.40-6.15- Susan Carey (Harvard)

Tuesday 28th May

10.00-11.30- Maggie McGonigle (Edinburgh)

11.45-12.25- Denis Buehler (California)

12.30-1.10- Richard Stoeckle-schobel (Edinburgh)

1.10-1.30- Discussion

1.30-Lunch and End


The workshop will be held in the Institute for Advanced Study building on Palace Green in central Durham.

The address is:

Institute for advanced Study

Cosin's Hall
Palace Green

On foot

As you leave the railway station, walk down the hill to the bottom. You should walk past a restaurant

called Alishaan’s on your left as you go. At the bottom of the hill (when you see The Bridge Hotel in

front of you) turn left and head towards the roundabout. Cross the roundabout and head down North Road (the one that Alishaan’s is on the corner of). Walk down North Road until the road forks, and you have a pub called The Fighting Cocks on your right and a shopping centre called The Gates on your left. Walk over the bridge (Framwellgate Bridge) over the river and continue walking up that road until you reach the market square (there is a large statue of a man on a horse in the centre of the square). When in the square, look to your right for a fish and chip shop called Bell’s and the HSBC bank, walk up the road that they are on (Saddler Street). Continue to follow the street (past the set of steps that lead downwards) and go up past Waterstone’s bookshop on the right. You will pass a pub called the Shakespeare on your right. You will soon come to a fork, where a small lane (Owengate) runs up towards the Cathedral (on the corner is a cafe painted pink). Walk up this small lane and you will be struck by the Cathedral in front of you. The IAS building is on the left as you face the Cathedral (next door to a cafe).

If you have trouble, just ask someone where the Cathedral is, as the conference is pretty much next door, and the Cathedral is very easy to spot!


There are also many taxis available from the station, just ask for ‘Palace Green’ or The Cathedral.


There is also a ‘Cathedral bus’ that takes you directly from the Railway Station to the Cathedral,

which leaves at 10, 30 and 50 minutes past the hour for a nominal fee of 50p.

We are grateful to the Philosophy and Psychology Departments (Durham University), the Centre for Academic and Researcher Development (Durham), Durham Institute of Advanced Studies, Analysis Trust, Mind Association, and British Society for the Philosophy of Science for their support in these events.