A concept is a mental symbol, used to denote a class of things in the world. Concepts are mental representations that allows us to draw appropriate inferences about the type of entities we encounter in our everyday lives. Concepts do not encompass all mental representations, but are merely a subset of them. Concepts are the glue that bind entities in the world, and are distinct from 'conceptions', which are the beliefs that we hold about these entities. The use of concepts is necessary to cognitive processes such as categorization, memory, decision making, learning and inference.

Concepts are also sometimes construed as abstract entities. This debate concerns the ontological status of concepts - what they are really like. However, there is no reason to think concepts cannot be mental representations and we will continue with the above description, which is the most widely used in discussions in philosophy and psychology.

There is debate as to the relationship between concepts and natural language. However, it is necessary at least to begin by understanding that the concept "dog" is philosophically distinct from the things in the world grouped by this concept - or the reference class or extension. Concepts that can be equated to a single word are called "lexical concepts".

Study of concepts and conceptual structure falls into the disciplines of philosophy, psychology and cognitive science.

Read more about Concept:  Etymology

Other articles related to "concept, concepts":

Concept - Etymology
... The term "concept" is traced back to 1554–60 (Latin conceptum - "something conceived"), but what is today termed "the classical theory of concepts" is the theory of Aristotle on the definition of terms ... The meaning of "concept" is explored in mainstream information science, cognitive science, metaphysics, and philosophy of mind ... science contexts, especially, the term 'concept' is often used in unclear or inconsistent ways ...
... or valorization of capital is a theoretical concept created by Karl Marx in his critique of political economy ... Similarly, Marx's specific concept refers both to the process whereby a capital value is conferred or bestowed on something, and to the increase in the value of a capital ... that it denotes a highly specific economic concept, i.e ...
GM Korea - Concept Cars
... Daewoo Musiro Chevrolet Trax Chevrolet Beat Concept Chevrolet Groove Chevrolet Orlando Chevrolet Aveo RS Concept Chevrolet Miray ...

Famous quotes containing the word concept:

    Obscenity is a moral concept in the verbal arsenal of the Establishment, which abuses the term by applying it, not to expressions of its own morality, but to those of another.
    Herbert Marcuse (1898–1979)

    The two most far-reaching critical theories at the beginning of the latest phase of industrial society were those of Marx and Freud. Marx showed the moving powers and the conflicts in the social-historical process. Freud aimed at the critical uncovering of the inner conflicts. Both worked for the liberation of man, even though Marx’s concept was more comprehensive and less time-bound than Freud’s.
    Erich Fromm (1900–1980)

    By speaking, by thinking, we undertake to clarify things, and that forces us to exacerbate them, dislocate them, schematize them. Every concept is in itself an exaggeration.
    José Ortega Y Gasset (1883–1955)