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  1. Conceptual Engineering and the Implementation Problem.Sigurd Jorem - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (1-2):186-211.
    Conceptual engineers seek to revise or replace the devices we use to speak and think. If this amounts to an effort to change what natural language expressions mean, conceptual engineers will have a hard time. It is largely unfeasible to change the meaning of e.g. ‘cause’ in English. Conceptual engineers may therefore seem unable to make the changes they aim to make. This is what I call ‘the implementation problem’. In this paper, I argue that the implementation problem dissolves if (...)
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  • Conceptual Engineering, Metasemantic Externalism and Speaker-Meaning.Mark Pinder - forthcoming - Mind:fzz069.
    What is the relationship between conceptual engineering and metasemantic externalism? Sally Haslanger has argued that metasemantic externalism justifies the seemingly counterintuitive consequences of her proposed conceptual revisions. But according to Herman Cappelen, metasemantic externalism makes conceptual engineering effectively impossible in practice. After raising objections to Haslanger’s and Cappelen’s views, I argue for a very different picture, on which metasemantic externalism bears very little on conceptual engineering. I argue that, while metasemantic externalism principally operates at the level of semantic-meaning, we should (...)
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  • Commitment Engineering: Conceptual Engineering Without Representations.Guido Löhr - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):13035-13052.
    It is largely assumed that conceptual engineering is essentially about revising, introducing, or eliminating representational devices, in particular the intension and extension of words and concepts. However, tying conceptual engineering too closely to representations is risky. Not everyone endorses the notion of representation as theoretically helpful or even real. Not everyone thinks that concepts or meanings should be understood in terms of the notion of representation. Does this mean that conceptual engineering is not interesting or relevant for these skeptics? In (...)
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  • Conceptual Exploration.Rachel Etta Rudolph - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Conceptual engineering involves revising our concepts. It can be pursued as a specific philosophical methodology, but is also common in ordinary, non-philosophical, contexts. How does our capacity for conceptual engineering fit into human cognitive life more broadly? I hold that conceptual engineering is best understood alongside practices of conceptual exploration, examples of which include conceptual supposition (i.e., suppositional reasoning about alternative concepts), and conceptual comparison (i.e., comparisons between possible concept choices). Whereas in conceptual engineering we aim to change the concepts (...)
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  • What is Conceptual Engineering and What Should It Be?David Chalmers - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Conceptual engineering is the design, implementation, and evaluation of concepts. Conceptual engineering includes or should include de novo conceptual engineering (designing a new concept) as well as conceptual re-engineering (fixing an old concept). It should also include heteronymous (different-word) as well as homonymous (same-word) conceptual engineering. I discuss the importance and the difficulty of these sorts of conceptual engineering in philosophy and elsewhere.
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  • Engineering What? On Concepts in Conceptual Engineering.Steffen Koch - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):1955-1975.
    Conceptual engineers aim to revise rather than describe our concepts. But what are concepts? And how does one engineer them? Answering these questions is of central importance for implementing and theorizing about conceptual engineering. This paper discusses and criticizes two influential views of this issue: semanticism, according to which conceptual engineers aim to change linguistic meanings, and psychologism, according to which conceptual engineers aim to change psychological structures. I argue that neither of these accounts can give us the full story. (...)
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  • Can Conceptual Engineering Actually Promote Social Justice?Paul-Mikhail Catapang Podosky - forthcoming - Synthese.
    This paper explores the question: What would conceptual engineering have to be in order to promote social justice? Specifically, it argues that to promote social justice, conceptual engineering must deliver the following: (i) it needs to be possible to deliberately implement a conceptual engineering proposal in large communities; (ii) it needs to be possible for a conceptual engineering proposal to bring about change to extant social categories; (iii) it needs to be possible to bring a population to adopt a conceptual (...)
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  • Conceptual Engineering and the Politics of Implementation.Matthieu Queloz & Friedemann Bieber - 2021 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    Conceptual engineering is thought to face an ‘implementation challenge’: the challenge of securing uptake of engineered concepts. But is the fact that implementation is challenging really a defect to be overcome? What kind of picture of political life would be implied by making engineering easy to implement? We contend that the ambition to obviate the implementation challenge goes against the very idea of liberal democratic politics. On the picture we draw, the implementation challenge can be overcome by institutionalizing control over (...)
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  • Conceptual Engineering in Philosophy.Matti Eklund - 2021 - In Justin Khoo & Rachel Sterken (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Social and Political Philosophy of Language.
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  • Content Internalism and Conceptual Engineering.Joey Pollock - 2020 - Synthese 198 (12):11587-11605.
    Cappelen proposes a radically externalist framework for conceptual engineering. This approach embraces the following two theses. Firstly, the mechanisms that underlie conceptual engineering are inscrutable: they are too complex, unstable and non-systematic for us to grasp. Secondly, the process of conceptual engineering is largely beyond our control. One might think that these two theses are peculiar to the Austerity Framework, or to metasemantic externalism more generally. However, Cappelen argues that there is no reason to think that internalism avoids either commitment. (...)
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  • There is no dilemma for conceptual engineering. Reply to Max Deutsch.Steffen Koch - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (7):2279-2291.
    Max Deutsch has recently argued that conceptual engineering is stuck in a dilemma. If it is construed as the activity of revising the semantic meanings of existing terms, then it faces an unsurmountable implementation problem. If, on the other hand, it is construed as the activity of introducing new technical terms, then it becomes trivial. According to Deutsch, this conclusion need not worry us, however, for conceptual engineering is ill-motivated to begin with. This paper responds to Deutsch by arguing, first, (...)
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  • Downplaying the Change of Subject Objection to Conceptual Engineering.Delia Belleri - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Conceptual engineering projects have been criticized for creating discontinuities of subject-matter and, as a result, discontinuities in inquiries: call this the Change of Subject objection. In this paper, I explore a way of dealing with the objection that clarifies its scope and eventually downplays it. First, two strategies aimed at saving subject-continuity are examined and found wanting: Herman Cappelen’s appeal to topics, and the account in terms of concept function. Second, the idea is introduced that one can begin an object-level (...)
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  • Semantic Supervenience.Luca Gasparri - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    It is common belief that semantic properties supervene on non-semantic properties: no two possible worlds can be non-semantic duplicates and fail to be semantic duplicates. The view enjoys somewhat of an orthodoxy status in contemporary philosophy of language and metaphysics, and is often assumed without argument. Yet, work by Stephen Kearns and Ofra Magidor has claimed that it is vulnerable to a variant of the classical arguments against the supervenience of the phenomenal on the physical. This paper does three things: (...)
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  • Intuitions About Cases as Evidence (for How We Should Think).James Andow - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Much recent work on philosophical methodology has focused on whether we should accept evidence: the claim that philosophers use intuitive judgments about cases as evidence for/against philosophical theories. This paper outlines a new way of thinking about the philosophical method of appealing to cases such that evidence is true but not as it is typically understood. The idea proposed is that, when philosophers appeal to cases, they are engaged in a project of conceptual engineering and that, within that project, intuitions (...)
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  • Speaker’s Reference, Stipulation, and a Dilemma for Conceptual Engineers.Max Deutsch - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (12):3935-3957.
    Advocates of conceptual engineering as a method of philosophy face a dilemma: either they are ignorant of how conceptual engineering can be implemented, or else it is trivial to implement but of very little value, representing no new or especially fruitful method of philosophizing. Two key distinctions frame this dilemma and explain its two horns. First, the distinction between speaker’s meaning and reference and semantic meaning and reference reveals a severe implementation problem for one construal of conceptual engineering. Second, the (...)
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  • Conceptual Engineering is Extremely Unlikely to Work. So What?James Andow - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (1-2):212-226.
    ABSTRACT Conceptual engineering aims to improve our concepts. That's plausibly an extremely difficult thing to do. Should this make us sceptical of the idea that philosophers should try to do it? You might think so. Cappelen, in his Fixing Language: an Essay on Conceptual Engineering, thinks it shouldn't stop us – but his stated reasons are not really encouraging. In this paper, I say what I think Cappelen should have said, on the basis of a very rough cost-benefit analysis.
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  • Is Conceptual Engineering From Japan Feasible?:日本発の概念工学は実行に移せるか?.Ryo Uehara - 2021 - Kagaku Tetsugaku 53 (2):259-273.
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  • Experimental Philosophy and the Method of Cases.Joachim Horvath & Steffen Koch - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (1):e12716.
    In this paper, we first briefly survey the main responses to the challenge that experimental philosophy poses to the method of cases, given the common assumption that the latter is crucially based on intuitive judgments about cases. Second, we discuss two of the most popular responses in more detail: the expertise defense and the mischaracterization objection. Our take on the expertise defense is that the available empirical data do not support the claim that professional philosophers enjoy relevant expertise in their (...)
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  • Cappelen, H. 2018. Fixing Language. An Essay in Conceptual Engineering. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 224 Pp. ISBN: 978-0-198-81471-9. [REVIEW]Steffen Koch - 2019 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 22 (1):248-256.
    This is a review article of Herman Cappelen's monograph 'Fixing Language. An Essay on Conceptual Engineering' (OUP 2018). It summarizes the key elements of the book and objects to various of Cappelen's claims.
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  • Herman Cappelen. Fixing Language. An Essay on Conceptual Engineering. [REVIEW]Steffen Koch - 2019 - Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy 20 (1):248–256.
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  • Scharp on Inconsistent Concepts and Their Engineered Replacements, Or: Can We Mend These Broken Things?Mark Pinder - forthcoming - Tandf: Inquiry:1-22.
    Kevin Scharp’s influential work on the alethic paradoxes combines an extensively developed inconsistency theory with a substantial conceptual engineering project. I argue that Scharp’s inconsistency theory is in tension with his conceptual engineering project: the inconsistency theory includes an account of concepts that implies that the conceptual engineering project will fail. I recommend that Scharp revises his account of concepts, and show how doing so allows him to resolve the tension. The discussion is important for ongoing work on conceptual engineering. (...)
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  • Conceptual Engineers Shouldn’T Worry About Semantic Externalism.Jared Riggs - forthcoming - Tandf: Inquiry:1-22.
    Conceptual engineers sometimes say they want to change what our words mean. If a certain kind of externalism is true, it might be nearly impossible to do that. For some of the external factors that determine meaning, like metaphysical naturalness or past usage, are not within our power to change. And if we can’t change what determines meaning, then we can’t change meaning. I argue that, if this sort of externalism is true, then conceptual engineers didn’t want to change what (...)
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