Analytic Philosophy (forthcoming)

Max Kölbel
University of Vienna
What exactly does conceptual analysis consist in? Is it empirical or a priori? How does it support philosophical theses, and what kinds of thesis are these? There is no consensus on these questions in contemporary philosophy. This paper aims to defend conceptual analysis by showing that it comprises a number of different methods and by explaining their importance in philosophy. After setting out an initial dilemma for conceptual analysis, the paper outlines a minimal ecumenical account of concepts, as well as an account of concept possession and concept employment. On the basis of these accounts, the paper then argues that there are both empirical and a priori forms of conceptual analysis, and that each can be defended as legitimate methods. The philosophical interest of conceptual analysis, however, resides in relying on all three types of method in the service of answering philosophical concerns. This is illustrated by three sample cases.
Keywords a priori  armchair philosophy  conceptual analysis  conceptual engineering  philosophical method
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DOI 10.1111/phib.12249
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The Concept of Mind.Gilbert Ryle - 1949 - Hutchinson & Co.
The Origin of Concepts.Susan Carey - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
Individualism and the Mental.Tyler Burge - 1979 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 4 (1):73-122.

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