X-Phi and Carnapian Explication

Erkenntnis 80 (2):381-402 (2015)
Authors
James Justus
Florida State University
Joshua Shepherd
Carleton University
Abstract
The rise of experimental philosophy has placed metaphilosophical questions, particularly those concerning concepts, at the center of philosophical attention. X-phi offers empirically rigorous methods for identifying conceptual content, but what exactly it contributes towards evaluating conceptual content remains unclear. We show how x-phi complements Rudolf Carnap’s underappreciated methodology for concept determination, explication. This clarifies and extends x-phi’s positive philosophical import, and also exhibits explication’s broad appeal. But there is a potential problem: Carnap’s account of explication was limited to empirical and logical concepts, but many concepts of interest to philosophers are essentially normative. With formal epistemology as a case study, we show how x-phi assisted explication can apply to normative domains.
Keywords Experimental philosophy  Carnap  Explication  Formal epistemology
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-014-9648-3
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