Truth and objectivity in conceptual engineering

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (9-10):1001-1022 (2020)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

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 generally. This means that the requisite level of objectivity is exhibited not only by natural kinds, but also by a wide range of philosophical kinds, social kinds and artefactual kinds. The alternative externalist accounts of conceptual engineering offered by Herman Cappelen and Derek Ball fall back into a kind of descriptivism which is antithetical to externalism and fails to recognise this basic level of objectivity.

Similar books and articles

The Role of Concepts in Fixing Language.Sarah Sawyer - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (5):555-565.
The Austerity Framework and semantic normativity.Mark Pinder - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (1-2):123-141.
Talk and Thought.Sarah Sawyer - 2019 - In Alexis Burgess, Herman Cappelen & David Plunkett (eds.), Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 379-395.
A Guided Tour Of Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics.Herman Cappelen & David Plunkett - 2019 - In Alexis Burgess, Herman Cappelen & David Plunkett (eds.), Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 1-26.
Conceptual Engineering: The Master Argument.Herman Cappelen - 2019 - In Alexis Burgess, Herman Cappelen & David Plunkett (eds.), Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics. New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
The Importance of Concepts.Sarah Sawyer - 2018 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 118 (2):127-147.
Conceptual engineering, truth, and efficacy.Jennifer Nado - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 7):1507-1527.
How To Conceptually Engineer Conceptual Engineering?Manuel Gustavo Isaac - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-24.
Neutralism and Conceptual Engineering.Patrick Greenough - 2019 - In Alexis Burgess, Herman Cappelen & David Plunkett (eds.), Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics. New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
Conceptual engineering for mathematical concepts.Fenner Stanley Tanswell - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (8):881-913.
Disability studies, conceptual engineering, and conceptual activism.Elizabeth Amber Cantalamessa - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (1-2):46-75.

Analytics

Added to PP
2019-10-23

Downloads
1,195 (#9,565)

6 months
121 (#26,098)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Sarah Sawyer
University of Sussex

Citations of this work

The Ethics of Conceptualization: A Needs-Based Approach.Matthieu Queloz - forthcoming - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Which Concept of Concept for Conceptual Engineering?Manuel Gustavo Https://Orcidorg Isaac - 2023 - Erkenntnis: An International Journal of Scientific Philosophy 88 (5):2145-2169.
Nietzsche’s Conceptual Ethics.Matthieu Queloz - 2023 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 66 (7):1335-1364.

View all 27 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

The extended mind.Andy Clark & David J. Chalmers - 1998 - Analysis 58 (1):7-19.
Two Dogmas of Empiricism.W. Quine - 1951 - [Longmans, Green].
How the laws of physics lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - New York: Oxford University Press.

View all 31 references / Add more references