Debunking Concepts

Midwest Studies in Philosophy (forthcoming)
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Abstract

Genealogies of belief have dominated recent philosophical discussions of genealogical debunking at the expense of genealogies of concepts, which has in turn focused attention on genealogical debunking in an epistemological key. As I argue in this paper, however, this double focus encourages an overly narrow understanding of genealogical debunking. First, not all genealogical debunking can be reduced to the debunking of beliefsā€”concepts can be debunked without debunking any particular belief, just as beliefs can be debunked without debunking the concepts in terms of which they are articulated. Second, not all genealogical debunking is epistemological debunking. Focusing on concepts rather than beliefs brings distinct forms of genealogical debunking to the fore that cannot be comprehensively captured in terms of epistemological debunking. We thus need a broader understanding of genealogical debunking, which encompasses not just epistemological debunking, but also what I shall refer to as metaphysical debunking and ethical debunking.

Author's Profile

Matthieu Queloz
University of Bern

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