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  1. Justice and empowerment through digital health: ethical challenges and opportunities.Philip J. Nickel, Iris Loosman, Lily Frank & Anna Vinnikova - 2023 - Digital Society 2.
    The proposition that digital innovations can put people in charge of their health has been accompanied by prolific talk of empowerment. In this paper we consider ethical challenges and opportunities of trying to achieve justice and empowerment using digital health initiatives. The language of empowerment can misleadingly suggest that by using technology, people can control their health and take responsibility for health outcomes to a greater degree than is realistic or fair. Also, digital health empowerment often primarily reaches people who (...)
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  • Recent work in the theory of conceptual engineering.Steffen Koch, Guido Löhr & Mark Pinder - 2023 - Analysis 83 (3):589-603.
    A philosopher argues that state-sponsored cyberattacks against central military or civilian targets are always acts of war. What is this philosopher doing? According to conceptual analysts, the philosopher is making a claim about our concept of war. According to philosophical realists, the philosopher is making a claim about war per se. In a quickly developing literature, a third option is being explored: the philosopher is engineering the concept of war. On this view, the philosopher is making a proposal about which (...)
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  • What Conceptual Engineering Can Learn from the History of Philosophy of Science: Healthy Externalism and Metasemantic Plasticity.Matteo De Benedetto - 2024 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 14 (1):1-24.
    Conceptual engineering wants analytic philosophy to be centered around the assessment and improvement of philosophical concepts. But contemporary debates about conceptual engineering do not engage much with the vast literature on conceptual change that exists in philosophy of science. In this article, I argue that an adequate appreciation of the history of philosophy of science can contribute to discussions about conceptual engineering. Specifically, I show that the evolution of debates over scientific conceptual change arguably demonstrates that, contrary to what is (...)
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  • Conspiracy theories are not theories: Time to rename conspiracy theories.Kevin Reuter & Lucien Baumgartner - forthcoming - In Manuel Gustavo Isaac, Steffen Koch & Kevin Scharp (eds.), New Perspectives on Conceptual Engineering. Springer.
    This paper presents the results of two corpus studies investigating the discourse surrounding conspiracy theories and genuine theories. The results of these studies show that conspiracy theories lack the epistemic and scientific standing characteristic of theories more generally. Instead, our findings indicate that conspiracy theories are spread in a manner that resembles the dissemination of rumors and falsehoods. Based on these empirical results, we argue that it is time for both re-engineering conspiracy theory and for relabeling "conspiracy theory". We propose (...)
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  • Linguistic Imposters.Denis Kazankov & Edison Yi - forthcoming - The Philosophical Quarterly.
    There is a widespread phenomenon that we call linguistic imposters. Linguistic imposters are systematic misuses of expressions that misusers mistake with their conventional usages because of misunderstanding their meaning. Our paper aims to provide an initial framework for theorizing about linguistic imposters that will lay the foundation for future philosophical research about them. We focus on the misuses of the expressions 'grooming' and 'critical race theory' as our central examples of linguistic imposters. We show that linguistic imposters present a distinctive (...)
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  • Local Conceptual Engineering in a Linguistic Subgroup and the Implementation Problem.Takaaki Matsui - manuscript
    In this paper, I examine Max Deutsch’s dilemma for the implementation of newly engineered concepts. In the debate over this dilemma, the goal of conceptual engineering tends to be set either too high or too low. As a result, implementation tends to be seen as either very unlikely to succeed or too easily achievable. This paper aims to offer a way out of this dilemma. I argue that the success conditions for implementation can be better understood if we distinguish between (...)
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  • Conceptual engineering, predictive processing, and a new implementation problem.Guido Löhr & Christian Michel - 2024 - Mind and Language 39 (2):201-219.
    According to predictive processing, an increasingly influential paradigm in cognitive science, the function of the brain is to minimize the prediction error of its sensory input. Conceptual engineering is the practice of assessing and changing concepts or word meanings. We contribute to both strands of research by proposing the first cognitive account of conceptual engineering, using the predictive processing framework. Our model reveals a new kind of implementation problem as prediction errors are only minimized if enough agents embrace conceptual changes. (...)
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  • Brain disorders reconsidered – a response to commentaries.Anneli Jefferson - 2024 - Philosophical Psychology 37 (3):644-657.
    In this paper, I respond to commentaries on my book “Are Mental Disorders Brain Disorders?”. The topics I discuss are: accounts of function and dysfunction, constraints on the relationship between processes at the level of the brain and the mind, externalism in psychiatry, implications for moral responsibility and the question whether my account is a form of conceptual engineering. I defend my account and argue that the key criterion for whether mental disorders are brain disorders is whether we can map (...)
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  • ‘Are mental disorders brain disorders?’ is a question of conceptual choice.Elisabetta Lalumera - 2023 - Philosophical Psychology 1 (3):1-13.
    This contribution focuses on what type of question “Are mental disorders brain disorders?” is and what task Anneli Jefferson performs in her book with the same title. I distinguish between conceptual engineering and conceptual choice, the former involving the individuation of an adequate concept for a specific goal, and the latter involving the normative problem of whether we should employ the concept at hand. I contend that Anneli Jefferson’s book is a work of conceptual engineering, which is valuable in and (...)
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  • Truth in philosophy: a conceptual engineering approach.Jennifer Nado - 2024 - Asian Journal of Philosophy 3 (1):1-22.
    The focus of this paper will be to examine the implications that a “practical” approach to conceptual engineering might have for the “traditional” conception of philosophy as uncovering truths about phenomena of philosophical interest. In doing so, I will be building on the ideas of a figure that many take to be the first major philosopher to write on conceptual engineering: Rudolf Carnap. Though the current wave of interest in conceptual engineering goes back less than a decade, many conceptual engineers (...)
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  • Realitäten entfalten: Explikationsverständnisse als Grundlage der Begriffsgestaltung.Cyrill Mamin - 2023 - Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 71 (6):857-888.
    This paper is concerned with the relationship between paradigms of explication and the practice of conceptual engineering. It defends three interrelated claims: First, the predominant functionalist attitude in the present debate on conceptual engineering is due to its roots in Carnapian explication, which identifies the explicandum with a precursor concept. Second, alternative metaphysical paradigms of explication locate the explicandum in a part of a concept-independent reality (‘field explication‘, as I will call it). Third, field explication may be a better paradigm (...)
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  • Engineering Social Concepts: Feasibility and Causal Models.Eleonore Neufeld - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    How feasible are conceptual engineering projects of social concepts that aim for the engineered concept to be widely adopted in ordinary everyday life? Predominant frameworks on the psychology of concepts that shape work on stereotyping, bias, and machine learning have grim implications for the prospects of conceptual engineers: conceptual engineering efforts are ineffective in promoting certain social-conceptual changes. Specifically, since conceptual components that give rise to problematic social stereotypes are sensitive to statistical structures of the environment, purely conceptual change won’t (...)
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  • Making Trust Safe for AI? Non-agential Trust as a Conceptual Engineering Problem.Juri Viehoff - 2023 - Philosophy and Technology 36 (4):1-29.
    Should we be worried that the concept of trust is increasingly used when we assess non-human agents and artefacts, say robots and AI systems? Whilst some authors have developed explanations of the concept of trust with a view to accounting for trust in AI systems and other non-agents, others have rejected the idea that we should extend trust in this way. The article advances this debate by bringing insights from conceptual engineering to bear on this issue. After setting up a (...)
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  • Critical social ontology.Kevin Richardson - 2023 - Synthese 201 (6):1-19.
    Critical social ontology is any study of social ontology that is done in order to critique ideology or end social injustice. The goal of this paper is to outline what I call the fundamentality approach to critical social ontology. On the fundamentality approach, social ontologists are in the business of distinguishing between appearances and (fundamental) reality. Social reality is often obscured by the acceptance of ideology, where an ideology is a distorted system of beliefs that leads people to promote or (...)
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  • Common Ground Between Social Ontology, Conceptual Engineering, and Conceptual Ethics.Jared Oliphint - 2023 - Journal of Social Ontology 9 (1).
    Social objects have become common subjects of interest to both social ontologists and conceptual engineers, but up to this point much of the philosophical work from these two fields has surprisingly been done in isolation from each field. I show how these prolific research fields—social ontology, conceptual engineering, and conceptual ethics—can mutually benefit each other through a unifying model I propose called the 2D-CE model that shows the dependence relations between a given concept, its instantiation conditions, and whatever language represents (...)
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  • Lying in online social networks: a bug or a feature.Mahed Maddah & Pouyan Esmaeilzadeh - 2023 - Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society 21 (4):438-451.
    Purpose Online social networks can bridge the gap between distant individuals by simulating online experiences that closely resemble physical interactions. While people have positive experiences, such as joy, in a physical relationship and would like to enjoy those experiences online, they also have negative experiences, such as being subject to a lie. An online social network may allow users to lie to simulate a real-world social group better. However, lying must be prevented on social networks as unethical behavior. Thus, this (...)
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  • What analytic metaphysics can do for scientific metaphysics.Chanwoo Lee - 2023 - Ratio 36 (3):192-203.
    The apparent chasm between two camps in metaphysics, analytic metaphysics and scientific metaphysics, is well recognized. I argue that the relationship between them is not necessarily a rivalry; a division of labour that resembles the relationship between pure mathematics and science is possible. As a case study, I look into the metaphysical underdetermination argument for ontic structural realism, a well‐known position in scientific metaphysics, together with an argument for the position in analytic metaphysics known as ontological nihilism. I argue that (...)
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  • Conceptual Engineering and Philosophy of Technology: Amelioration or Adaptation?Jeroen Hopster & Guido Löhr - 2023 - Philosophy and Technology 36 (4):1-17.
    Conceptual Engineering (CE) is thought to be generally aimed at ameliorating deficient concepts. In this paper, we challenge this assumption: we argue that CE is frequently undertaken with the orthogonal aim of _conceptual adaptation_. We develop this thesis with reference to the interplay between technology and concepts. Emerging technologies can exert significant pressure on conceptual systems and spark ‘conceptual disruption’. For example, advances in Artificial Intelligence raise the question of whether AIs are agents or mere objects, which can be construed (...)
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  • Conceptual Revision in Action.Ethan Landes & Kevin Reuter - manuscript
    Conceptual engineering is the practice of revising concepts to improve how people talk and think. Its ability to improve talk and thought ultimately hinges on the successful dissemination of desired conceptual changes. Unfortunately, the field has been slow to develop methods to directly test what barriers stand in the way of propagation and what methods will most effectively propagate desired conceptual change. In order to test such questions, this paper introduces the masked time-lagged method. The masked time-lagged method tests people's (...)
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