Results for 'conceptual engineering'

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  1. Conceptual Engineering and the Implementation Problem.Sigurd Jorem - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (1-2):186-211.
    Conceptual engineers seek to revise or replace the devices we use to speak and think. If this amounts to an effort to change what natural language expressions mean, conceptual engineers will have a hard time. It is largely unfeasible to change the meaning of e.g. ‘cause’ in English. Conceptual engineers may therefore seem unable to make the changes they aim to make. This is what I call ‘the implementation problem’. In this paper, I argue that the implementation (...)
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  2. Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics.Herman Cappelen, David Plunkett & Alexis Burgess (eds.) - 2019 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    Conceptual engineering and conceptual ethics are branches of philosophy concerned with questions about how to assess and ameliorate our representational devices (such as concepts and words). It's a part of philosophy concerned with questions about which concepts we should use (and why), how concepts can be improved, when concepts should be abandoned, and how proposals for amelioration can be implemented. Central parts of the history of philosophy have engaged with these issues, but the focus of this volume (...)
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  3. Conceptual Engineering: The Master Argument.Herman Cappelen - forthcoming - In Herman Cappelen, David Plunkett & Alexis Burgess (eds.), Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    I call the activity of assessing and developing improvements of our representational devices ‘conceptual engineering’.¹ The aim of this chapter is to present an argument for why conceptual engineering is important for all parts of philosophy (and, more generally, all inquiry). Section I of the chapter provides some background and defines key terms. Section II presents the argument. Section III responds to seven objections. The replies also serve to develop the argument and clarify what conceptual (...)
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  4. Conceptual Engineering, Truth, and Efficacy.Jennifer Nado - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 7):1507-1527.
    Traditional views on philosophical methodology characterize our primary philosophical goal as production of a successful conceptual analysis. The notion of conceptual analysis, however, faces several challenges—from experimental philosophy to more traditional worries such as the paradox of analysis. This paper explores an alternate approach, commonly called conceptual engineering, which aims at recommending conceptual revisions. An important question for the conceptual engineer is as follows: what counts as a case of successful conceptual engineering? (...)
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  5. Intuitions, Conceptual Engineering, and Conceptual Fixed Points.Matti Eklund - 2015 - In Christopher Daly (ed.), The Palgrave Handbook of Philosophical Methods.
  6.  22
    Conceptual Engineering is Extremely Unlikely to Work. So What?James Andow - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (1-2):212-226.
    ABSTRACT Conceptual engineering aims to improve our concepts. That's plausibly an extremely difficult thing to do. Should this make us sceptical of the idea that philosophers should try to do it? You might think so. Cappelen, in his Fixing Language: an Essay on Conceptual Engineering, thinks it shouldn't stop us – but his stated reasons are not really encouraging. In this paper, I say what I think Cappelen should have said, on the basis of a very (...)
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  7. Truth and Objectivity in Conceptual Engineering.Sarah Sawyer - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (9-10):1001-1022.
    Conceptual engineering is to be explained by appeal to the externalist distinction between concepts and conceptions. If concepts are determined by non-conceptual relations to objective properties rather than by associated conceptions (whether individual or communal), then topic preservation through semantic change will be possible. The requisite level of objectivity is guaranteed by the possibility of collective error and does not depend on a stronger level of objectivity, such as mind-independence or independence from linguistic or social practice more (...)
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  8. Conceptual Engineering, Metasemantic Externalism and Speaker-Meaning.Mark Pinder - forthcoming - Mind:fzz069.
    What is the relationship between conceptual engineering and metasemantic externalism? Sally Haslanger has argued that metasemantic externalism justifies the seemingly counterintuitive consequences of her proposed conceptual revisions. But according to Herman Cappelen, metasemantic externalism makes conceptual engineering effectively impossible in practice. After raising objections to Haslanger’s and Cappelen’s views, I argue for a very different picture, on which metasemantic externalism bears very little on conceptual engineering. I argue that, while metasemantic externalism principally operates (...)
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  9. 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.
    Examining previous discussions on how to construe the concepts of gender and race, we advocate what we call strategic conceptual engineering. This is the employment of a (possibly novel) concept for specific epistemic or social aims, concomitant with the openness to use a different concept (e.g., of race) for other purposes. We illustrate this approach by sketching three distinct concepts of gender and arguing that all of them are needed, as they answer to different social aims. The first (...)
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  10. Conceptual Engineering for Mathematical Concepts.Fenner Stanley Tanswell - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (8):881-913.
    ABSTRACTIn this paper I investigate how conceptual engineering applies to mathematical concepts in particular. I begin with a discussion of Waismann’s notion of open texture, and compare it to Shapiro’s modern usage of the term. Next I set out the position taken by Lakatos which sees mathematical concepts as dynamic and open to improvement and development, arguing that Waismann’s open texture applies to mathematical concepts too. With the perspective of mathematics as open-textured, I make the case that this (...)
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  11. How To Conceptually Engineer Conceptual Engineering?Manuel Gustavo Isaac - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1–24.
    Conceptual engineering means to provide a method to assess and improve our concepts working as cognitive devices. But conceptual engineering still lacks an account of what concepts are (as cognitive devices) and of what engineering is (in the case of cognition). And without such prior understanding of its subject matter, or so it is claimed here, conceptual engineering is bound to remain useless, merely operating as a piecemeal approach, with no overall grip on (...)
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  12. The Externalist Challenge to Conceptual Engineering.Steffen Koch - 2021 - Synthese 198:327–348.
    Unlike conceptual analysis, conceptual engineering does not aim to identify the content that our current concepts do have, but the content which these concepts should have. For this method to show the results that its practitioners typically aim for, being able to change meanings seems to be a crucial presupposition. However, certain branches of semantic externalism raise doubts about whether this presupposition can be met. To the extent that meanings are determined by external factors such as causal (...)
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  13. Conceptual Engineers Shouldn’T Worry About Semantic Externalism.Jared Riggs - forthcoming - Tandf: Inquiry:1-22.
    Conceptual engineers sometimes say they want to change what our words mean. If a certain kind of externalism is true, it might be nearly impossible to do that. For some of the external factors that determine meaning, like metaphysical naturalness or past usage, are not within our power to change. And if we can’t change what determines meaning, then we can’t change meaning. I argue that, if this sort of externalism is true, then conceptual engineers didn’t want to (...)
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    Conceptual Engineering Via Experimental Philosophy.Jennifer Nado - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (1-2):76-96.
    ABSTRACT Conceptual engineering provides a prima facie attractive alternative to traditional, conceptual analysis based approaches to philosophical method – particularly for those with doubts about the epistemic merits of intuition. As such, it seems to be a natural fit for those persuaded by the critiques of intuition offered by experimental philosophy. Recently, a number of authors [Schupbach, J. 2015. “Experimental Explication.” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 : 672–710; Shepherd, J., and J. Justus. 2015. “X-Phi and Carnapian Explication.” (...)
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    Conceptual Engineering and Semantic Deference.Joey Pollock - 2019 - Studia Philosophica Estonica 12:81-98.
    Many ameliorative projects aim at moral goods such as social equality. For example, the amelioration of the concept MARRIAGE forms part of efforts to achieve equal rights for the LGBT+ community. What does implementation of such an ameliorated concept consist in? In this paper, I argue that, for some ameliorated concepts, successful implementation requires that individuals eschew semantic deference, at least with respect to relevant dimensions of the concept. My argument appeals to consideration of the aims of conceptual engineers (...)
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  16. A Guided Tour Of Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics.David Plunkett & Herman Cappelen - 2020 - In Herman Cappelen, David Plunkett & Alexis Burgess (eds.), Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 1-26.
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  17. Neutralism and Conceptual Engineering.Patrick Greenough - forthcoming - In Alexis Burgess, Herman Cappelen & David Plunkett (eds.), Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Conceptual Engineering alleges that philosophical problems are best treated via revising or replacing our concepts (or words). The goal here is not to defend Conceptual Engineering but rather show that it can (and should) invoke Neutralism—the broad view that philosophical progress can take place when (and sometimes only when) a thoroughly neutral, non-specific theory, treatment, or methodology is adopted. A neutralist treatment of one form of skepticism is used as a case study and is compared with (...)
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  18. Engineering What? On Concepts in Conceptual Engineering.Steffen Koch - forthcoming - Synthese.
    Conceptual 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 (...)
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  19. What is Conceptual Engineering and What Should It Be?David Chalmers - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Conceptual engineering is the design, implementation, and evaluation of concepts. Conceptual engineering includes or should include de novo conceptual engineering (designing a new concept) as well as conceptual re-engineering (fixing an old concept). It should also include heteronymous (different-word) as well as homonymous (same-word) conceptual engineering. I discuss the importance and the difficulty of these sorts of conceptual engineering in philosophy and elsewhere.
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    Disability Studies, Conceptual Engineering, and Conceptual Activism.Elizabeth Amber Cantalamessa - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (1-2):46-75.
    In this project I am concerned with the extent to which conceptual engineering happens in domains outside of philosophy, and if so, what that might look like. Specifically, I’ll argue that...
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  21.  78
    On the Relation Between Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics.Alexis Burgess & David Plunkett - 2020 - Ratio 33 (4):281-294.
    In recent years, there has been growing discussion amongst philosophers about “conceptual engineering”. Put roughly, conceptual engineering concerns the assessment and improvement of concepts, or of other devices we use in thought and talk (e.g., words). This often involves attempts to modify our existing concepts (or other representational devices), and/or our practices of using them. This paper explores the relation between conceptual engineering and conceptual ethics, where conceptual ethics is taken to encompass (...)
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  22. The Revisionist’s Rubric: Conceptual Engineering and the Discontinuity Objection.Michael Prinzing - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (8):854-880.
    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 (...)
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  23.  61
    Conceptual Engineering Via Experimental Philosophy.Jennifer Nado - forthcoming - Tandf: Inquiry:1-21.
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  24. There is no dilemma for conceptual engineering. Reply to Max Deutsch.Steffen Koch - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (7):2279-2291.
    Max Deutsch has recently argued that conceptual engineering is stuck in a dilemma. If it is construed as the activity of revising the semantic meanings of existing terms, then it faces an unsurmountable implementation problem. If, on the other hand, it is construed as the activity of introducing new technical terms, then it becomes trivial. According to Deutsch, this conclusion need not worry us, however, for conceptual engineering is ill-motivated to begin with. This paper responds to (...)
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  25. Fixing Language: An Essay on Conceptual Engineering.Herman Cappelen - 2018 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Herman Cappelen investigates how language and other representational devices can go wrong, and how to fix them. We use language to understand and talk about the world, but what if our language has deficiencies that prevent it from playing that role? How can we revise our concepts, and what are the limits on revision?
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  26. The ‘Should’ in Conceptual Engineering.Mona Simion - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (8):914-928.
    ABSTRACTSeveral philosophers have inquired into the metaphysical limits of conceptual engineering: ‘Can we engineer? And if so, to what extent?’. This paper is not concerned with answering these questions. It does concern itself, however, with the limits of conceptual engineering, albeit in a largely unexplored sense: it cares about the normative, rather than about the metaphysical limits thereof. I first defend an optimistic claim: I argue that the ameliorative project has, so far, been too modest; there (...)
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  27. Conceptual Control: On the Feasibility of Conceptual Engineering.Eugen Fischer - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-29.
    This paper empirically raises and examines the question of ‘conceptual control’: To what extent are competent thinkers able to reason properly with new senses of words? This question is crucial for conceptual engineering. This prominently discussed philosophical project seeks to improve our representational devices to help us reason better. It frequently involves giving new senses to familiar words, through normative explanations. Such efforts enhance, rather than reduce, our ability to reason properly, only if competent language users are (...)
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  28. Speaker’s Reference, Stipulation, and a Dilemma for Conceptual Engineers.Max Deutsch - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (12):3935-3957.
    Advocates of conceptual engineering as a method of philosophy face a dilemma: either they are ignorant of how conceptual engineering can be implemented, or else it is trivial to implement but of very little value, representing no new or especially fruitful method of philosophizing. Two key distinctions frame this dilemma and explain its two horns. First, the distinction between speaker’s meaning and reference and semantic meaning and reference reveals a severe implementation problem for one construal of (...)
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    Fixing Language. An Essay on Conceptual Engineering.Herman Cappelen - 2019 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 73 (1):169-173.
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  30. A Defence of Constructionism: Philosophy as Conceptual Engineering.Luciano Floridi - 2011 - Metaphilosophy 42 (3):282-304.
    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 (...)
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  31. Conceptual Engineering, Topics, Metasemantics, and Lack of Control.Herman Cappelen - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (5):594-605.
    Conceptual engineering is now a central topic in contemporary philosophy. Just 4-5 years ago it wasn’t. People were then engaged in the engineering of various philosophical concepts (in various sub-disciplines), but typically not self-consciously so. Qua philosophical method, conceptual engineering was under-explored, often ignored, and poorly understood. In my lifetime, I have never seen interest in a philosophical topic grow with such explosive intensity. The sociology behind this is fascinating and no doubt immensely complex (and (...)
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    Conceptual Engineering as Concept Preservation.Matthew Lindauer - 2020 - Ratio 33 (3):155-162.
    In the burgeoning philosophical literature on conceptual engineering improving our concepts is typically portrayed as the hallmark activity of the field. However, Herman Cappelen has challenged the idea that we can know how and why conceptual changes occur well enough to actively intervene in revising our concepts; the mechanisms of conceptual change are typically inscrutable to us. If the ‘inscrutability challenge’ is correct, the practical aspect of conceptual engineering may seem to be undermined, but (...)
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    Still the same dilemma for conceptual engineers: reply to Koch.Max Deutsch - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-12.
    Steffen Koch raises several objections to my critique of conceptual engineering. Here, I reply to these objections, arguing that Koch fails to adequately defend the “standard rationale” for conceptual engineering, and that the dilemma I have posed for “conceptual re-engineering”, a dilemma that presents this practice as either infeasible or else trivial, survives Koch’s objections unscathed. I conclude that conceptual engineering, both in terms of its conception and rationale, remains problematic.
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    Herman Cappelen: Fixing Language. An Essay on Conceptual Engineering[REVIEW]Inga Bones - 2019 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 73 (1):169-173.
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  35.  92
    Ideology and Normativity: Constraints on Conceptual Engineering.Paul-Mikhail Catapang Podosky - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-15.
    ABSTRACTWhere do the boundaries of the ‘should’ in conceptual engineering lie? Mona Simion suggests that the right kind of reason for a...
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    Conceptual Engineering for Truth: Aletheic Properties and New Aletheic Concepts.Kevin Scharp - 2020 - Synthese (Suppl 2):1-42.
    What is the property of being true like? To answer this question, begin with a Canberra-plan analysis of the concept of truth. That is, assemble the platitudes for the concept of truth, and then investigate which property might satisfy them. This project is aided by Friedman and Sheard’s groundbreaking analysis of twelve logical platitudes for truth. It turns out that, because of the paradoxes like the liar, the platitudes for the concept of truth are inconsistent. Moreover, there are so many (...)
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    Conceptual engineering for truth: aletheic properties and new aletheic concepts.Kevin Scharp - 2021 - Synthese 198 (2):647-688.
    What is the property of being true like? To answer this question, begin with a Canberra-plan analysis of the concept of truth. That is, assemble the platitudes for the concept of truth, and then investigate which property might satisfy them. This project is aided by Friedman and Sheard’s groundbreaking analysis of twelve logical platitudes for truth. It turns out that, because of the paradoxes like the liar, the platitudes for the concept of truth are inconsistent. Moreover, there are so many (...)
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    Fixing Language: An Essay on Conceptual Engineering By Herman Cappelen.Max Deutsch - 2019 - Analysis 79 (3):574-578.
    Fixing Language: An Essay on Conceptual Engineering By CappelenHermanOxford University Press, 2018. x + 212 pp.
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  39. Post-Truth Conceptual Engineering.Manuel Gustavo Isaac - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1–16.
    Conceptual engineering is the method for assessing and improving our concepts. Some have recently claimed that the implementation of such method in the form of ameliorative projects is truth-driven and should thus be epistemically constrained, ultimately at least (Simion 2018; cf. Podosky 2018). This paper challenges that claim on the assumption of a social constructionist analysis of ideologies, and provides an alternative, pragmatic and cognitive framework for determining the legitimacy of ameliorative conceptual projects overall. The upshot is (...)
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    Conceptual Engineering and Ways of Believing.Eve Kitsik - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-22.
    I will argue that those thinking about conceptual engineering should think more about ways of believing. When we talk about what someone “believes”, we could be talking about how they are inclined to act, or what they have put forth as their position on a matter, or what gives rise to a feeling of endorsement when they reflect on the matter. If we further recognize that the contents of our beliefs are at least sometimes framed in certain concepts (...)
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    Conceptual Engineering and Ways of Believing.Eve Kitsik - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-22.
    I will argue that those thinking about conceptual engineering should think more about ways of believing. When we talk about what someone “believes”, we could be talking about how they are inclined to act, or what they have put forth as their position on a matter, or what gives rise to a feeling of endorsement when they reflect on the matter. If we further recognize that the contents of our beliefs are at least sometimes framed in certain concepts (...)
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    Broad-Spectrum Conceptual Engineering.Manuel Gustavo Isaac - 2021 - Ratio: An International Journal for Analytic Philosophy:1–17.
    Conceptual engineering is the method for assessing and improving our representational devices. On its ‘broad-spectrum’ version, it is expected to be appropriately applicable to any of our representation-involving cognitive activities, with major consequences for our whole cognitive life. This paper is about the theoretical foundations of conceptual engineering thus characterised. With a view to ensuring the actionability of conceptual engineering as a broad-spectrum method, it addresses the issue of how best to construe the subject (...)
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  43. Conceptual Re-Engineering: From Explication to Reflective Equilibrium.Georg Brun - 2020 - Synthese 197 (3):925-954.
    Carnap and Goodman developed methods of conceptual re-engineering known respectively as explication and reflective equilibrium. These methods aim at advancing theories by developing concepts that are simultaneously guided by pre-existing concepts and intended to replace these concepts. This paper shows that Carnap’s and Goodman’s methods are historically closely related, analyses their structural interconnections, and argues that there is great systematic potential in interpreting them as aspects of one method, which ultimately must be conceived as a component of theory (...)
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  44. Fake News, Conceptual Engineering, and Linguistic Resistance: Reply to Pepp, Michaelson, and Sterken, and Brown.Joshua Habgood-Coote - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    In Habgood-Coote (2019 “Stop Talking about Fake News!” Inquiry: an Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62(9-10): 1033-1065) I argued that we should abandon ‘fake news’ and ‘post-truth’, on the grounds that these terms do not have stable public meanings, are unnecessary, and function as vehicles for propaganda. Jessica Pepp, Eliot Michaelson, and Rachel Sterken (2019 “Why we should keep talking about fake news” Inquiry: an Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy) and Étienne Brown (2019 “’Fake News’ and Conceptual Ethics”, Journal of Ethics (...)
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    Is Conceptual Engineering From Japan Feasible?:日本発の概念工学は実行に移せるか?.Ryo Uehara - 2021 - Kagaku Tetsugaku 53 (2):259-273.
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    Conceptual Change and Conceptual Engineering: The Case of Colour Concepts.Lieven Decock - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (1-2):168-185.
    I analyse conceptual change and conceptual engineering in the special case of colour concepts. The case raises the prospects of conceptual engineering because a precise standard for measuring the amelioration of the structure of concepts is available. On the other hand, the study highlights the problems with controlling conceptual engineering pointed out by Cappelen. I argue that in the case of conceptual change of colour concepts varying degrees of optimization, design and control (...)
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  47. Philosophy as Conceptual Engineering: Inductive Logic in Rudolf Carnap's Scientific Philosophy.Christopher F. French - 2015 - Dissertation, University of British Columbia
    My dissertation explores the ways in which Rudolf Carnap sought to make philosophy scientific by further developing recent interpretive efforts to explain Carnap’s mature philosophical work as a form of engineering. It does this by looking in detail at his philosophical practice in his most sustained mature project, his work on pure and applied inductive logic. I, first, specify the sort of engineering Carnap is engaged in as involving an engineering design problem and then draw out the (...)
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    Broad-Spectrum Conceptual Engineering.Manuel Gustavo Isaac - forthcoming - Ratio.
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  49. In Defense of Conceptual Engineering.Steffen Koch - 2021 - Dissertation, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
    In this cumulative phd thesis, I provide an account of conceptual engineering and defend it against various challenges. The thesis contains five chapters (plus an introduction and a conclusion): 1. Engineering what? On concepts in conceptual engineering (Synthese, 2020); 2. The externalist challenge to conceptual engineering (Synthese, 2021); 3. There is no dilemma for conceptual engineering. Reply to Max Deutsch (Philosophical Studies, 2020); 4. Why conceptual engineers should not worry about (...)
     
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  50.  33
    Content internalism and conceptual engineering.Joey Pollock - forthcoming - Synthese:1-19.
    Cappelen proposes a radically externalist framework for conceptual engineering. This approach embraces the following two theses. Firstly, the mechanisms that underlie conceptual engineering are inscrutable: they are too complex, unstable and non-systematic for us to grasp. Secondly, the process of conceptual engineering is largely beyond our control. One might think that these two theses are peculiar to the Austerity Framework, or to metasemantic externalism more generally. However, Cappelen argues that there is no reason to (...)
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