X - Phi and Carnapian Explication

Erkenntnis 80 (2):381-402 (2015)
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Abstract

The rise of experimental philosophy has placed metaphilosophical questions, particularly those concerning concepts, at the center of philosophical attention. X-phi offers empirically rigorous methods for identifying conceptual content, but what exactly it contributes towards evaluating conceptual content remains unclear. We show how x-phi complements Rudolf Carnap’s underappreciated methodology for concept determination, explication. This clarifies and extends x-phi’s positive philosophical import, and also exhibits explication’s broad appeal. But there is a potential problem: Carnap’s account of explication was limited to empirical and logical concepts, but many concepts of interest to philosophers are essentially normative. With formal epistemology as a case study, we show how x-phi assisted explication can apply to normative domains.

Author Profiles

James Justus
Florida State University
Joshua Shepherd
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

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