Synthese 199 (1-2):1955-1975 (2020)
AbstractConceptual engineers aim to revise rather than describe our concepts. But what are concepts? And how does one engineer them? Answering these questions is of central importance for implementing and theorizing about conceptual engineering. This paper discusses and criticizes two influential views of this issue: semanticism, according to which conceptual engineers aim to change linguistic meanings, and psychologism, according to which conceptual engineers aim to change psychological structures. I argue that neither of these accounts can give us the full story. Instead, I propose and defend the Dual Content View of Conceptual Engineering. On this view, conceptual engineering targets concepts, where concepts are understood as having two kinds of contents: referential content and cognitive content. I show that this view is independently plausible and that it gives us a comprehensive account of conceptual engineering that helps to make progress on some of the most difficult problems surrounding conceptual engineering.
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References found in this work
The Meaning of 'Meaning'.Hillary Putnam - 1975 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7:131-193.
Fixing Language: An Essay on Conceptual Engineering.Herman Cappelen - 2018 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work
Experimental Philosophy and the Method of Cases.Joachim Horvath & Steffen Koch - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (1):e12716.
There is no dilemma for conceptual engineering. Reply to Max Deutsch.Steffen Koch - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (7):2279-2291.
The good, the bad and the insignificant—assessing concept functions for conceptual engineering.Sigurd Jorem - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-20.
Commitment Engineering: Conceptual Engineering Without Representations.Guido Löhr - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):13035-13052.
Defective Food Concepts.Andrea Borghini, Nicola Piras & Beatrice Serini - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):12225-12249.
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