David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (3):427-445 (2010)
The practice of conceptual analysis has undergone a revival in recent years. Although the extent of its role in philosophy is controversial, many now accept that conceptual analysis has at least some role to play. Granting this, I consider the relevance of empirical investigation to conceptual analysis. I do so by contrasting an extreme position (anti-empirical conceptual analysis) with a more moderate position (non-empirical conceptual analysis). I argue that anti-empirical conceptual analysis is not a viable position because it has no means for resolving conceptual disputes that arise between seemingly competent speakers of the language. This is illustrated by considering one such dispute that has been pressed by a prominent advocate of anti-empirical conceptual analysis: Bennett and Hacker ( 2003 ) assert that psychological predicates only logically apply to whole living animals, but many scientists and philosophers use the terms more broadly. I argue that to resolve such disputes we need to empirically investigate the common understanding of the terms at issue. I then show how this can be done by presenting the results of three studies concerning the application of “calculates” to computers.
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References found in this work BETA
Adam Arico (2010). Folk Psychology, Consciousness, and Context Effects. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (3):371-393.
George Bealer (1987). The Philosophical Limits of Scientific Essentialism. Philosophical Perspectives 1:289-365.
M. R. Bennett (2003). Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience. Blackwell Pub..
M. Bennett, D. C. Dennett, P. M. S. Hacker & J. R. & Searle (eds.) (2007). Neuroscience and Philosophy: Brain, Mind, and Language. Columbia University Press.
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Citations of this work BETA
Mark Johnston & Sarah-Jane Leslie (2012). Concepts, Analysis, Generics and the Canberra Plan1. Philosophical Perspectives 26 (1):113-171.
Dylan Murray, Justin Sytsma & Jonathan Livengood (2013). God Knows (but Does God Believe?). Philosophical Studies 166 (1):83-107.
Sebastian Lutz (2012). Artificial Language Philosophy of Science. European Journal for Philosophy of Science (Browse Results) 2 (2):181–203.
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