Post-Truth Conceptual Engineering

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1–16 (2021)
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Conceptual engineering is the method for assessing and improving our concepts. Some have recently claimed that the implementation of such method in the form of ameliorative projects is truth-driven and should thus be epistemically constrained, ultimately at least (Simion 2018; cf. Podosky 2018). This paper challenges that claim on the assumption of a social constructionist analysis of ideologies, and provides an alternative, pragmatic and cognitive framework for determining the legitimacy of ameliorative conceptual projects overall. The upshot is that one should not ameliorate for the sake of truth or knowledge, in the case of ideologies—at least, not primarily.

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Manuel Gustavo Isaac
Swiss National Science Foundation


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