“Jack is a True Scientist”: On the Content of Dual Character Concepts

Abstract

The concepts expressed by social role terms such as artist and scientist are unique. In a series of experiments, Knobe, Prasada, and Newman (2013) show that these terms allow two independent criteria for categorisation, one of which is inherently normative. This paper presents and tests a novel account of the content of these ‘dual character concepts’. We argue that the normative dimension of dual character concepts represents commitments to fulfill certain idealized functions. We then present evidence that the normative dimension is a central dimension in the conceptual structure of dual character concepts. Finally, we show that our account is both descriptively and explanatorily adequate.


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