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Herman Cappelen
University of Hong Kong
  1. Conceptual Engineering: The Master Argument.Herman Cappelen - forthcoming - In Herman Cappelen, David Plunkett & Alexis Burgess (eds.), Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    I call the activity of assessing and developing improvements of our representational devices ‘conceptual engineering’.¹ The aim of this chapter is to present an argument for why conceptual engineering is important for all parts of philosophy (and, more generally, all inquiry). Section I of the chapter provides some background and defines key terms. Section II presents the argument. Section III responds to seven objections. The replies also serve to develop the argument and clarify what conceptual engineering is.
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  2. A Guided Tour Of Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics.David Plunkett & Herman Cappelen - forthcoming - In Herman Cappelen, David Plunkett & Alexis Burgess (eds.), Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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  3. Why Philosophers Shouldn’T Do Semantics.Herman Cappelen - 2017 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (4):743-762.
    The linguistic turn provided philosophers with a range of reasons for engaging in careful investigation into the nature and structure of language. However, the linguistic turn is dead. The arguments for it have been abandoned. This raises the question: why should philosophers take an interest in the minutiae of natural language semantics? I’ll argue that there isn’t much of a reason - philosophy of language has lost its way. Then I provide a suggestion for how it can find its way (...)
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  4. Assertion: A Defective Theoretical Category.Herman Cappelen - forthcoming - In Sanford Goldberg (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Assertion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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  5. Action Without The First Person Perspective.Herman Cappelen & Joshua Dever - manuscript
    In our book The Inessential Indexical we argue that the various theses of essential indexicality all fail. Indexicals are not essential, we conclude. One essentiality thesis we target in the third chapter is the claim that indexical attitudes are essential for action. Our strategy is to give examples of what we call impersonal action rationalizations , which explain actions without citing indexical attitudes. To defeat the claim that indexical attitudes are essential for action, it suffices that there could be even (...)
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  6.  66
    On the Uselessness of the Distinction Between Ideal and Non-Ideal Theory (at Least in the Philosophy of Language).Herman Cappelen & Joshua Dever - forthcoming - In Routledge Companion to Social and Political Philosophy of Language.
    There’s an interesting debate in moral and political philosophy about the nature of, and relationship between, ideal and non-ideal theory. In this paper we discuss whether an analogous distinction can be drawn in philosophy of language. Our conclusion is negative: Even if you think that distinction can be put to work within moral and political philosophy, there’s no useful way to extend it to work that has been done in the philosophy of language.
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  7. Conceptual Engineering, Topics, Metasemantics, and Lack of Control.Herman Cappelen - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (5):594-605.
    Conceptual engineering is now a central topic in contemporary philosophy. Just 4-5 years ago it wasn’t. People were then engaged in the engineering of various philosophical concepts (in various sub-disciplines), but typically not self-consciously so. Qua philosophical method, conceptual engineering was under-explored, often ignored, and poorly understood. In my lifetime, I have never seen interest in a philosophical topic grow with such explosive intensity. The sociology behind this is fascinating and no doubt immensely complex (and an excellent case study for (...)
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