A defence of constructionism: philosophy as conceptual engineering

Metaphilosophy 42 (3):282-304 (2011)
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This article offers an account and defence of constructionism, both as a metaphilosophical approach and as a philosophical methodology, with references to the so-called maker's knowledge tradition. Its main thesis is that Plato's “user's knowledge” tradition should be complemented, if not replaced, by a constructionist approach to philosophical problems in general and to knowledge in particular. Epistemic agents know something when they are able to build (reproduce, simulate, model, construct, etc.) that something and plug the obtained information into the correct network of relations that account for it. Their epistemic expertise increases with the scope and depth of the questions that they are able to ask and answer. Thus, constructionism deprioritises mimetic, passive, and declarative knowledge that something is the case, in favour of poietic, interactive, and practical knowledge of something being the case. Metaphilosophically, constructionism suggests adding conceptual engineering to conceptual analysis as a fundamental method

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Luciano Floridi
Yale University

Citations of this work

Which Concept of Concept for Conceptual Engineering?Manuel Gustavo Https://Orcidorg Isaac - 2023 - Erkenntnis: An International Journal of Scientific Philosophy 88 (5):2145-2169.
Post-Truth Conceptual Engineering.Manuel Gustavo Isaac - 2024 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 67 (1):199-214.
Engineering virtue: constructionist virtue ethics.Jakob Ohlhorst - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
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References found in this work

Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature.Richard Rorty - 1979 - Princeton University Press.
Two Dogmas of Empiricism.Willard V. O. Quine - 1951 - Philosophical Review 60 (1):20–43.
What is Philosophy?Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari - 1991 - Columbia University Press.
The philosophy of information.Luciano Floridi - 2011 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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