How To Conceptually Engineer Conceptual Engineering?

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-24 (2020)
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Conceptual engineering means to provide a method to assess and improve our concepts working as cognitive devices. But conceptual engineering still lacks an account of what concepts are (as cognitive devices) and of what engineering is (in the case of cognition). And without such prior understanding of its subject matter, or so it is claimed here, conceptual engineering is bound to remain useless, merely operating as a piecemeal approach, with no overall grip on its target domain. The purpose of this programmatic paper is to overcome this knowledge gap by providing some guidelines for developing the theories of concepts and of cognition that will ground the systematic unified framework needed to effectively implement conceptual engineering as a widely applicable method for the cognitive optimization of our conceptual devices.

Author's Profile

Manuel Gustavo Isaac
EPFL - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology


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