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  1. Concept Pluralism in Conceptual Engineering.Sarah Sawyer - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 1 (10.1080/0020174X.2021.1986424):1.
    In this paper, I argue that an adequate meta-semantic framework capable of accommodating the range of projects currently identified as projects in conceptual engineering must be sensitive to the fact that concepts (and hence projects relating to them) fall into distinct kinds. Concepts can vary, I will argue, with respect to their direction of determination, their modal range, and their temporal range. Acknowledging such variations yields a preliminary taxonomy of concepts and generates a meta-semantic framework that allows us both to (...)
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  • (Mere) Verbalness and Substantivity Revisited.Viktoria Knoll - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-24.
    Verbal disputes are often seen as closely related to a lack of substantivity. However, a systematic and comprehensive investigation of how verbalness relates to substantivity is still missing. The present paper attempts to close this gap. In addition to offering different conceptions of verbalness, the paper further develops Sider’s (2011) notion of substantivity. Ultimately, I argue for a more careful choice of terminology when it comes to assessing a dispute as “(merely) verbal” or “nonsubstantive”. While the paper shows that there (...)
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  • Strategic Conceptual Engineering for Epistemic and Social Aims.Ingo Brigandt & Esther Rosario - 2020 - In Alexis Burgess, Herman Cappelen & David Plunkett (eds.), Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 100-124.
    Examining previous discussions on how to construe the concepts of gender and race, we advocate what we call strategic conceptual engineering. This is the employment of a (possibly novel) concept for specific epistemic or social aims, concomitant with the openness to use a different concept (e.g., of race) for other purposes. We illustrate this approach by sketching three distinct concepts of gender and arguing that all of them are needed, as they answer to different social aims. The first concept serves (...)
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  • Conspiracy Theories and Evidential Self-Insulation.M. Giulia Napolitano - 2021 - In Sven Bernecker, Amy Flowerree & Thomas Grundmann (eds.), The Epistemology of Fake News. Oxford University Press. pp. 82-105.
    What are conspiracy theories? And what, if anything, is epistemically wrong with them? I offer an account on which conspiracy theories are a unique way of holding a belief in a conspiracy. Specifically, I take conspiracy theories to be self-insulating beliefs in conspiracies. On this view, conspiracy theorists have their conspiratorial beliefs in a way that is immune to revision by counter-evidence. I argue that conspiracy theories are always irrational. Although conspiracy theories involve an expectation to encounter some seemingly disconfirming (...)
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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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  • Sameness of Subject Matter in Conceptual Replacement.Cyrill Mamin - manuscript
    Projects of conceptual engineering that aim to ameliorate concepts face the challenge of topic continuity. In some instances of conceptual amelioration, a particularly strong kind of continuity is needed: Sameness of subject matter. This paper examines how sameness of subject matter can be maintained in conceptual amelioration. It starts from a view that sees concepts as ways of thinking, implying that to change a concept is to replace it. At first sight, this view seems incompatible with maintaining sameness of subject (...)
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  • Engineering Existence?Lukas Skiba - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    This paper investigates the connection between two recent trends in philosophy: higher-orderism and conceptual engineering. Higher-orderists use higher-order quantifiers (in particular quantifiers binding variables that occupy the syntactic positions of predicates) to express certain key metaphysical doctrines, such as the claim that there are properties. I argue that, on a natural construal, the higher-orderist approach involves an engineering project concerning, among others, the concept of existence. I distinguish between a modest construal of this project, on which it aims at engineering (...)
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  • Conceptual Engineering, Truth, and Efficacy.Jennifer Nado - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 7):1507-1527.
    Traditional views on philosophical methodology characterize our primary philosophical goal as production of a successful conceptual analysis. The notion of conceptual analysis, however, faces several challenges—from experimental philosophy to more traditional worries such as the paradox of analysis. This paper explores an alternate approach, commonly called conceptual engineering, which aims at recommending conceptual revisions. An important question for the conceptual engineer is as follows: what counts as a case of successful conceptual engineering? What sorts of revisions are permitted, and what (...)
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  • Verbal Disputes and Topic Continuity.Viktoria Knoll - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Changing concepts comes with a risk of creating merely verbal disputes. Accounts of topic continuity (such as Herman Cappelen’s) are supposed to solve this problem. As this paper shows, however, no existing solution avoids the danger of mere verbalness. On the contrary, accounts of topic continuity in fact increase the danger of overlooking merely verbal disputes between pre- and post-ameliorators. Ultimately, this paper suggests accepting the danger of mere verbalness resulting from a change in topic as a downside of conceptual (...)
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  • Objectivity and Orgasm: The Perils of Imprecise Definitions.Samantha Wakil - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):2315-2333.
    Lloyd analyzes every proposed evolutionary explanation of female orgasm and argues that all but one suffers from serious evidential errors. Lloyd attributes these errors to two main biases: androcentrism and adaptationism. This paper begins by arguing that the explanation Lloyd favors—the by-product account—is guilty of the androcentrism which supposedly implicates the other explanations of female orgasm with numerous evidential discrepancies. This suggests that there is another error afflicting orgasm research in addition to the biases Lloyd identities. I attempt to diagnose (...)
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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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  • How to Study Well-Being: A Proposal for the Integration of Philosophy with Science.Michael Prinzing - 2021 - Review of General Psychology 25 (2):152-162.
    There are presently two approaches to the study of well-being. Philosophers typically focus on normative theorizing, attempting to identify the things that are ultimately good for a person, while largely ignoring empirical research. The idea is that empirical attention cannot be directed to the right place without a rigorous theory. Meanwhile, social scientists typically focus on empirical research, attempting to identify the causes and consequences of well-being, while largely ignoring normative theorizing. The idea is that conceptual and theoretical clarity will (...)
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  • Why Conceptual Engineers Should Not Worry About Topics.Steffen Koch - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-21.
    This paper argues for explanatory eliminativism about topics relative to the domain of conceptual engineering. It has become usual to think that topics serve an important explanatory role in theories of conceptual engineering, namely, to determine the limits of revision. I argue, first, that such limits can be understood either as the normative limits pertaining to the justification of conceptual engineering, as the metaphysical limits pertaining to the identity of the concepts in question, or as the terminological limits pertaining to (...)
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  • What Should Conceptual Engineering Be All About?Isaac Manuel Gustavo - 2021 - Philosophia Philosophical Quarterly of Israel:1–13.
    Conceptual engineering is commonly characterized as the method for assessing and improving our representational devices. Little has been said, however, on how best to construe these representational devices—in other words, on what conceptual engineering should be all about. This paper tackles this problem with a basic strategy: First, by presenting a taxonomy of the different possible subject matters for conceptual engineering; then, by comparatively assessing them and selecting the most conducive one with a view to making conceptual engineering an actionable (...)
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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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  • Conceptual Engineering and Semantic Deference.Joey Pollock - 2019 - Studia Philosophica Estonica 12:81-98.
    Many ameliorative projects aim at moral goods such as social equality. For example, the amelioration of the concept MARRIAGE forms part of efforts to achieve equal rights for the LGBT+ community. What does implementation of such an ameliorated concept consist in? In this paper, I argue that, for some ameliorated concepts, successful implementation requires that individuals eschew semantic deference, at least with respect to relevant dimensions of the concept. My argument appeals to consideration of the aims of conceptual engineers engaged (...)
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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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  • How to Philosophically Tackle Kinds Without Talking About ‘Natural Kinds’.Ingo Brigandt - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy:1-24.
    Recent rival attempts in the philosophy of science to put forward a general theory of the properties that all (and only) natural kinds across the sciences possess may have proven to be futile. Instead, I develop a general methodological framework for how to philosophically study kinds. Any kind has to be investigated and articulated together with the human aims that motivate referring to this kind, where different kinds in the same scientific domain can answer to different concrete aims. My core (...)
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