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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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  • Genealogical Solutions to the Problem of Critical Distance: Political Theory, Contextualism and the case of Punishment in Transitional Scenarios.Francesco Testini - 2022 - Res Publica 28 (2):271-301.
    In this paper, I argue that one approach to normative political theory, namely contextualism, can benefit from a specific kind of historical inquiry, namely genealogy, because the latter provides a solution to a deep-seated problem for the former. This problem consists in a lack of critical distance and originates from the justificatory role that contextualist approaches attribute to contextual facts. I compare two approaches to genealogical reconstruction, namely the historiographical method pioneered by Foucault and the hybrid method of pragmatic genealogy (...)
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  • Basic Equality.Paul Sagar - 2024 - Princeton University Press.
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  • Nietzsche’s Conceptual Ethics.Matthieu Queloz - 2023 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 66 (7):1335-1364.
    If ethical reflection on which concepts to use has an avatar, it must be Nietzsche, who took more seriously than most the question of what concepts one should live by, and regarded many of our inherited concepts as deeply problematic. Moreover, his eschewal of traditional attempts to derive the one right set of concepts from timeless rational foundations renders his conceptual ethics strikingly modern, raising the prospect of a Nietzschean alternative to Wittgensteinian non-foundationalism. Yet Nietzsche appears to engage in two (...)
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  • Function-Based Conceptual Engineering and the Authority Problem.Matthieu Queloz - 2022 - Mind 131 (524):1247-1278.
    In this paper, I identify a central problem for conceptual engineering: the problem of showing concept-users why they should recognise the authority of the concepts advocated by engineers. I argue that this authority problem cannot generally be solved by appealing to the increased precision, consistency, or other theoretical virtues of engineered concepts. Outside contexts in which we anyway already aim to realise theoretical virtues, solving the authority problem requires engineering to take a functional turn and attend to the functions of (...)
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  • How to Choose Normative Concepts.Ting Cho Lau - 2022 - Analytic Philosophy.
    Matti Eklund (2017) has argued that ardent realists face a serious dilemma. Ardent realists believe that there is a mind-independent fact as to which normative concepts we are to use. Eklund claims that the ardent realist cannot explain why this is so without plumping in favor of their own normative concepts or changing the topic. The paper first advances the discussion by clarifying two ways of understanding the question of which normative concepts to choose: a theoretical question about which concepts (...)
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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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  • Law as a Test of Conceptual Strength.Matthieu Queloz - forthcoming - In Veronica Rodriguez-Blanco, Daniel Peixoto Murata & Julieta Rabanos (eds.), Bernard Williams on Law and Jurisprudence: From Agency and Responsibility to Methodology. Oxford: Hart.
    In ‘What Has Philosophy to Learn from Tort Law?’, Bernard Williams reaffirms J. L. Austin’s suggestion that philosophy might learn from tort law ‘the difference between practical reality and philosophical frivolity’. Yet while Austin regarded tort law as just another repository of time-tested concepts, on a par with common sense as represented by a dictionary, Williams argues that ‘the use of certain ideas in the law does more to show that those ideas have strength than is done by the mere (...)
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  • Making Past Thinkers Speak to Us Through Pragmatic Genealogies.Matthieu Queloz - 2023 - In Sandra Lapointe & Erich H. Reck (eds.), Historiography and the Formation of Philosophical Canons. New York: Routledge. pp. 171-191.
    Pragmatic genealogies seek to explain ideas by regarding them, primarily, not as answers to philosophical questions, but as practical solutions to practical problems. Here I argue that pragmatic genealogies can inform the formation of philosophical canons. But the rationale for resorting to genealogy in this connection is not the familiar one that genealogy renders the concepts of the present intelligible by relating them to the concerns of the past—the claim is rather the reverse one, that genealogy renders the concepts of (...)
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  • Wittgenstein and the Cognitive Science of Religion: Interpreting Human Nature and the Mind.Robert Vinten (ed.) - 2023 - London: Bloomsbury Academic.
    Advancing our understanding of one of the most influential 20th-century philosophers, Robert Vinten brings together an international line up of scholars to consider the relevance of Ludwig Wittgenstein's ideas to the cognitive science of religion. Wittgenstein's claims ranged from the rejection of the idea that psychology is a 'young science' in comparison to physics to challenges to scientistic and intellectualist accounts of religion in the work of past anthropologists. Chapters explore whether these remarks about psychology and religion undermine the frameworks (...)
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  • Williams’s Debt to Wittgenstein.Matthieu Queloz & Nikhil Krishnan - forthcoming - In Marcel van Ackeren & Matthieu Queloz (eds.), Making Sense of the Past: Bernard Williams and the History of Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This chapter argues that several aspects of Bernard Williams’s style, methodology, and metaphilosophy can be read as evolving dialectically out of Wittgenstein’s own. After considering Wittgenstein as a stylistic influence on Williams, especially as regards ideals of clarity, precision, and depth, Williams’s methodological debt to Wittgenstein is examined, in particular his anthropological interest in thick concepts and their point. The chapter then turns to Williams’s explicit association, in the 1990s, with a certain form of Wittgensteinianism, which he called ‘Left Wittgensteinianism’. (...)
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  • Natural Thoughts and Unnatural ‘Oughts’: Lessing, Wittgenstein, and Contemporary CSR.Guy Axtell - forthcoming - In Robert Vinten (ed.), Wittgenstein and Cognitive Science of Religion. London: Bloomsbury.
    Wittgenstein’s “Lectures on Religious Belief” (LRB) provide a source for as yet unexplored connections to religious ideas as treated in Robert N. McCauley’s book Why Religion is Natural and Science is Not (2013), and to other CSR scholars who focus attention on how “cognitively speaking it is religion that is natural and science that is largely unnatural.” Tensions are explored in this paper between our “maturationally natural” religious inclinations to adopt religious ideas and the “unnatural” demands sometimes made upon people, (...)
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