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Dr John Regan

Concept Lab Research Associate


Research projects & themes

The Concept Lab:

Departments and Institutes

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Research Interests

The Concept Lab disaggregates concepts from the meanings of words. In so doing it examines concepts qua concepts, assessing conceptual function, phase, structures, modality and kinds. The syntax, grammar, lexis and semantic content of language may offer us a way into describing our ways of knowing, but only with remainder, or a sense of lack. Thinking the concept network, for example, involves a different process of intellection to thinking the concept pattern. What are the characters of that difference?

Studying, or ‘parsing’ our processes of intellection is one half of the Lab’s work. The other involves vast data runs through historical material that allow us to observe, and begin to develop a vocabulary for, historical conceptual relations. We continue to make startling discoveries about which concepts ‘drag’, ‘focus’, ‘hide’ or ‘block’ others at different historical stages. This work is, in the language of Corpus Linguistics, corpus-driven, not corpus-based. This is to say that historical data is showing us what we could never have uncovered about conceptual networks in history, had we restricted our enquiries to discourse and critique of a small number of important voices.