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Amelioration vs. Perversion

In Teresa Marques & Åsa Wikforss (eds.), Shifting Concepts: The Philosophy and Psychology of Conceptual Variability. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2020)

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  1. The Ethics of Conceptualization: A Needs-Based Approach.Matthieu Queloz - forthcoming - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Philosophy strives to give us a firmer hold on our concepts. But what about their hold on us? Why place ourselves under the sway of a concept and grant it the authority to shape our thought and conduct? Another conceptualization would carry different implications. What makes one way of thinking better than another? This book develops a framework for concept appraisal. Its guiding idea is that to question the authority of concepts is to ask for reasons of a special kind: (...)
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  • Conceptual Engineering and the Politics of Implementation.Matthieu Https://Orcidorg Queloz & Friedemann Https://Orcidorg Bieber - 2022 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 103 (3):670-691.
    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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  • A Puzzle about Communication.Matheus Valente & Andrea Onofri - 2023 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 14 (3):1035-1054.
    It seems plausible that successfully communicating with our peers requires entertaining the same thoughts as they do. We argue that this view is incompatible with other, independently plausible principles of thought individuation. Our argument is based on a puzzle inspired by the Kripkean story of Peter and Paderewski: having developed several variations of the original story, we conclude that understanding and communication cannot be modeled as a process of thought transfer between speaker and hearer. While we are not the first (...)
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  • Conceptual domination.Matthew Shields - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):15043-15067.
    Implicit in much of the recent literature on conceptual engineering and conceptual ethics is the assumption that when speakers argue that we should talk or think about a concept in a specific way, they are doing so as inquirers—as speakers who are invested in arriving at the correct or best view of this concept. In this paper I question that assumption and argue that philosophers have been too quick to project idealized versions of themselves into the contexts of conceptual articulation (...)
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  • Can conceptual engineering actually promote social justice?Paul-Mikhail Catapang Podosky - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2).
    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: it needs to be possible to deliberately implement a conceptual engineering proposal in large communities; it needs to be possible for a conceptual engineering proposal to bring about change to extant social categories; it needs to be possible to bring a population to adopt a conceptual engineering proposal for (...)
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  • Linguistic Interventions and the Ethics of Conceptual Disruption.Guido Löhr - 2022 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 25 (5):835-849.
    Several authors in psychology and philosophy have recently raised the following question: when is it permissible to intentionally change the meaning and use of our words and concepts? I argue that an arguably prior question has received much less attention: Even if there were good moral or epistemic reasons for conceptual or semantic changes, this does not yet justify pushing or lobbying for such changes if they are socially and conceptually disruptive. In this paper, I develop the beginnings of an (...)
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  • Epistemic Paternalism via Conceptual Engineering.Eve Kitsik - 2023 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 9 (4):616-635.
    This essay focuses on conceptual engineers who aim to improve other people's patterns of inference and attention by shaping their concepts. Such conceptual engineers sometimes engage in a form of epistemic paternalism that I call paternalistic cognitive engineering: instead of explicitly persuading, informing and educating others, the engineers non-consultatively rely on assumptions about the target agents’ cognitive systems to improve their belief forming. The target agents could reasonably regard such benevolent exercises of control as violating their sovereignty over their own (...)
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  • Conceptual Engineering: For What Matters.Sebastian Köhler & Herman Veluwenkamp - forthcoming - Mind:fzad064.
    Conceptual engineering is the enterprise of evaluating and improving our representational devices. But how should we conduct this enterprise? One increasingly popular answer to this question proposes that conceptual engineering should proceed in terms of the functions of our representational devices. In this paper, we argue that the best way of understanding this suggestion is in terms of normative functions, where normative functions of concepts are, roughly, things that they allow us to do that matter normatively (for example, things in (...)
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  • Do you value topic-continuity? The moral foundations of Cappelen’s insistence on ‘topic-continuity’ and reasons for resisting them.Yvonne Huetter-Almerigi - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    The article reveals the pragmatic implications of Herman Cappelen’s account of ‘topics’ in his contribution to the conceptual engineering literature. I show that Cappelen’s introduction of the category of ‘topics’ serves the pragmatic goal of having a convenient handle to account for ‘continuity in revision’, and that his general insistence on ‘continuity’ is motivated morally and strategically. In asking what accounts for continuity, Cappelen’s ‘topics’ are not defined by content or any other fixed set of rules or criteria. Topics are (...)
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  • Conceptual Engineering Between Representational Skepticism and Complacency: Is There a Third Way?Delia Belleri - 2023 - Topoi 42 (4):1051-1062.
    Conceptual engineering has been linked by Herman Cappelen to a position called “representational skepticism”, described as one’s refusal to uncritically take over the conceptual representations one is handed. This position is contrasted with an uncritical attitude, called “representational complacency”. Arguably, neither position, or a hybrid of the two, is rationally sustainable. This paper therefore proposes an alternative option, called “critical concept conservatism”, stating that having a concept makes it rational (in a suitable sense of “rational”) for one to retain it, (...)
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  • Introduction: Metalinguistic Disagreement and Semantic Externalism.Pedro Abreu & Giulia Terzian - 2023 - Topoi 42 (4):975-981.
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  • Engineering virtue: constructionist virtue ethics.Jakob Ohlhorst - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Virtue ethics is traditionally a conservative project. It analyses the virtues that humanity has been relying on since antiquity. This conservatism unduly limits the potential of virtue ethics to contribute to moral progress. Instead, we should pay more attention to constructionist virtue ethics with the help of conceptual engineering. I will argue that revising and ameliorating the virtue concepts which a community uses directly and indirectly leads to a change of the virtues that exist in this community. By revising and (...)
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  • Propaganda.Anne Quaranto & Jason Stanley - 2021 - In Justin Khoo & Rachel Katharine Sterken (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Social and Political Philosophy of Language. pp. 125-146.
    This chapter provides a high-level introduction to the topic of propaganda. We survey a number of the most influential accounts of propaganda, from the earliest institutional studies in the 1920s to contemporary academic work. We propose that these accounts, as well as the various examples of propaganda which we discuss, all converge around a key feature: persuasion which bypasses audiences’ rational faculties. In practice, propaganda can take different forms, serve various interests, and produce a variety of effects. Propaganda can aim (...)
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