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  1. 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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  • Defending Genealogy as Conceptual Reverse-Engineering.Matthieu Queloz - 2024 - Analysis 84 (2):385-400.
    In this paper, I respond to three critical notices of The Practical Origins of Ideas: Genealogy as Conceptual Reverse-Engineering, written by Cheryl Misak, Alexander Prescott-Couch, and Paul Roth, respectively. After contrasting genealogical conceptual reverse-engineering with conceptual reverse-engineering, I discuss pragmatic genealogy’s relation to history. I argue that it would be a mistake to understand pragmatic genealogy as a fiction (or a model, or an idealization) as opposed to a form of historical explanation. That would be to rely on precisely the (...)
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  • Conceptual Engineering, Conceptual Domination, and the Case of Conspiracy Theories.Matthew Shields - 2023 - Social Epistemology 37 (4):464-480.
    Using the example of recent attempts to engineer the concept of conspiracy theory, I argue that philosophers should be far more circumspect in their approach to conceptual engineering than we have been – in particular, that we should pay much closer attention to the history behind and context that surrounds our target concept in order to determine whether it is a site of what I have elsewhere called ‘conceptual domination’. If it is, we may well have good reason to avoid (...)
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  • Freedom‐amelioration, transformative change, and emancipatory orders.Lukas Schmid - 2022 - European Journal of Philosophy 30 (4):1378-1392.
    Abstract“Freedom” is a fundamental political concept: contestations or endorsements of freedom-conceptions concern the fundamental normative orientation of sociopolitical orders. Focusing on “freedom,” this article argues that the project of bringing about emancipatory sociopolitical orders is both aided by efforts at engineering fundamental political concepts as well as required by such ameliorative ambitions. I first argue that since the absence of ideology is a constituent feature of emancipatory orders, any attempt at bringing about emancipation should leverage genealogical approaches in order to (...)
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  • Improving concepts, reshaping values: pragmatism and ameliorative projects.Matteo Santarelli - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    In this paper, I argue that positions from the historical tradition of pragmatism can offer insights into the role that values play in ameliorative projects. By focusing on Sally Haslanger’s ameliorative project regarding gender, I will try to show how the Deweyan idea of the circuit provides a convincing understanding of the mutual interplay between values and conceptual revision within ameliorative approaches. I propose to understand this circuit as a process of articulation, through which our understanding of an initially vague (...)
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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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  • Conceptual engineering for analytic theology.Patrick Greenough, Jean Gové & Ian Church - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-34.
    Conceptual engineering is the method (or methods) via which we can assess and improve our concepts. Can conceptual engineering be usefully employed within analytic theology? Given that analytic theology and analytic philosophy effectively share the same philosophical toolkit then if conceptual engineering works well in philosophy then it ought to work well in analytic theology too. This will be our working hypothesis. To make good on this hypothesis, we first address two challenges. The first challenge makes conceptual engineering look to (...)
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  • From naturalness to materiality: reimagining philosophy of scientific classification.David Ludwig - 2023 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 13 (1):1-23.
    The notion of natural kinds has been widely criticized in philosophy of science but also appears indispensable for philosophical engagement with classificatory practices. Rather than addressing this tension through a new definition of “natural kind”, this article suggests materiality as a substitute for naturalness in philosophical debates about scientific classification. It is argued that a theory of material kinds provides an alternative and more inclusive entry point for analyzing classificatory practices, which is specified through an account of “restricted malleability” of (...)
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  • Meaning change and changing meaning.Allison Koslow - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-26.
    Is conceptual engineering feasible? Answering that question requires a theory of semantic change, which is sometimes thought elusive. Fortunately, much is known about semantic change as it occurs in the wild. While usage is chaotic and complex, changes in a word’s use can produce changes in its meaning. There are several under-appreciated empirical constraints on how meanings change that stem from the following observation: word use finely reflects equilibrium between various communicative pressures. Much of the relevant work in linguistics has (...)
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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 - 2024 - Mind 133 (530):400-427.
    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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  • Conceptual Engineering: A Road Map to Practice.Manuel Gustavo Isaac, Steffen Koch & Ryan Nefdt - 2022 - Philosophy Compass 17 (10):1-15.
    This paper discusses the logical space of alternative conceptual engineering projects, with a specific focus on (1) the processes, (2) the targets and goals, and (3) the methods of such projects. We present an overview of how these three aspects interact in the contemporary literature and discuss those alternative projects that have yet to be explored based on our suggested typology. We show how choices about each element in a conceptual engineering project constrain the possibilities for the others, thereby giving (...)
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  • Socially disruptive technologies and epistemic injustice.J. K. G. Hopster - 2024 - Ethics and Information Technology 26 (1):1-8.
    Recent scholarship on technology-induced ‘conceptual disruption’ has spotlighted the notion of a conceptual gap. Conceptual gaps have also been discussed in scholarship on epistemic injustice, yet up until now these bodies of work have remained disconnected. This article shows that ‘gaps’ of interest to both bodies of literature are closely related, and argues that a joint examination of conceptual disruption and epistemic injustice is fruitful for both fields. I argue that hermeneutical marginalization—a skewed division of hermeneutical resources, which serves to (...)
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  • Ectogestative Technology and the Beginning of Life.Lily Frank, Julia Hermann, Ilona Kavege & Anna Puzio - 2023 - In Ibo van de Poel (ed.), Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies: An Introduction. Cambridge, UK: Open Book Publishers. pp. 113–140.
    How could ectogestative technology disrupt gender roles, parenting practices, and concepts such as ‘birth’, ‘body’, or ‘parent’? In this chapter, we situate this emerging technology in the context of the history of reproductive technologies and analyse the potential social and conceptual disruptions to which it could contribute. An ectogestative device, better known as ‘artificial womb’, enables the extra-uterine gestation of a human being, or mammal more generally. It is currently developed with the main goal of improving the survival chances of (...)
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