Explications for Engineering

Dissertation, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (2020)
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Abstract

The conservative idea that it is a philosopher’s job to clarify common sense beliefs about ordinary concepts is being weeded out from the population and replaced by a revisionist agenda: philosophers should not merely describe but also analyze and suggest ways to improve our concepts. This project is called "conceptual engineering." The conceptual engineering literature is growing rapidly as more philosophers undertake normative conceptual work. However, many philosophers are practicing conceptual engineering untethered to an explicit methodology. Analyses addressing how we should engineer a concept and what should be considered successful are scarce. The thesis of this dissertation is that Carnapian Explication solves this methodological deficiency.

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Samantha Wakil
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

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