Synthese 197 (3):955-981 (2020)

Authors
Mark Pinder
Open University (UK)
Abstract
In the course of theorising, it can be appropriate to replace one concept—a folk concept, or one drawn from an earlier stage of theorising—with a more precise counterpart. The best-known account of concept replacement is Rudolf Carnap’s ‘explication’. P.F. Strawson famously critiqued explication as a method in philosophy. As the critique is standardly construed, it amounts to the objection that explication is ‘irrelevant’, fails to be ‘illuminating’, or simply ‘changes the subject’. In this paper, I argue that this is an unfair characterisation of Strawson’s critique, spelling out the critique in more detail and showing that, fully understood, it is not undermined by extant responses. In light of both the critique and extant responses, I close by making some substantive comments about what explication can, and cannot, be used to do in philosophy.
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-017-1614-6
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References found in this work BETA

The Meaning of 'Meaning'.Hillary Putnam - 1975 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7:131-193.
Logical Foundations of Probability.Rudolf Carnap - 1950 - Chicago, IL, USA: Chicago University of Chicago Press.
Meaning and Necessity: A Study in Semantics and Modal Logic.Rudolf Carnap - 1947 - Chicago, IL, USA: University of Chicago Press.
Elusive Knowledge.David K. Lewis - 1996 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (4):549 – 567.

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Citations of this work BETA

Conceptual Engineering, Truth, and Efficacy.Jennifer Nado - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 7):1507-1527.
Carnapian Frameworks.Gabriel L. Broughton - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):4097-4126.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

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