Authors
Michael Prinzing
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Abstract
ABSTRACTThis paper is about conceptual engineering. Specifically, it discusses a common objection to CE, which I call the Discontinuity Objection. According to the Discontinuity Objection, CE leads to problematic discontinuities in subject and/or inquiry – making it philosophically uninteresting or irrelevant. I argue that a conceptual engineer can dismiss the Discontinuity Objection by showing that the pre-engineering concept persists through the proposed changes. In other words, the Discontinuity Objection does not apply if the proposal involves identity-preserving changes. Two existing views on identity-preserving changes are considered and rejected. I then argue that an identity-preserving conceptual change is one that allows the concept to continue to perform its function. A concept’s function is its job, its point and purpose, its role in a conceptual repertoire. In a slogan: Preserve a concept’s function, and you preserve the concept itself; preserve the concept, and you preserve the subject. The paper concludes by discussing some implications of this view.
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DOI 10.1080/0020174x.2017.1385522
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References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
The Nature of Normativity.Ralph Wedgwood - 2007 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Verbal Disputes and Topic Continuity.Viktoria Knoll - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
Strategic Conceptual Engineering for Epistemic and Social Aims.Ingo Brigandt & Esther Rosario - 2020 - In Alexis Burgess, Herman Cappelen & David Plunkett (eds.), Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 100-124.
Conceptual Engineering and Semantic Deference.Joey Pollock - 2019 - Studia Philosophica Estonica 12:81-98.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

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