Conceptual domination

Synthese 199 (5-6):15043-15067 (2021)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Implicit in much of the recent literature on conceptual engineering and conceptual ethics is the assumption that when speakers argue that we should talk or think about a concept in a specific way, they are doing so as inquirers—as speakers who are invested in arriving at the correct or best view of this concept. In this paper I question that assumption and argue that philosophers have been too quick to project idealized versions of themselves into the contexts of conceptual articulation and conceptual dispute. Speakers often engage in this activity to further interests of theirs that have nothing to do with inquiry, instead carrying out what I call ‘conceptual domination’. Speakers are engaged in conceptual domination when they aim to bring about and enforce widespread uptake for a view of a concept by exploiting institutions and institutional authority. They do so because this view best serves interests that are either irrelevant to or actively interfere with inquiry concerning this concept—paradigmatically their material interests. I consider sources of evidence for assessing whether speakers are engaging in conceptual domination, analyze two case studies, and consider how to push back against conceptual dominators.

Similar books and articles

What is Conceptual Engineering and What Should it Be?David Chalmers - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
Conceptual change and conceptual engineering: the case of colour concepts.Lieven Decock - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (1-2):168-185.
Conceptual Engineering: The Master Argument.Herman Cappelen - 2020 - In Herman Cappelen, David Plunkett & Alexis Burgess (eds.), Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Conceptual Exploration.Rachel Etta Rudolph - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
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.
Conceptual cartography.Robert Smithson - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (1-2):97-122.
Karen Warren and the Logic of Domination: A Defense.Amy L. Goff-Yates - 2000 - Environmental Ethics 22 (2):169-181.
Which Concept of Concept for Conceptual Engineering?Manuel Gustavo Isaac - 2021 - Erkenntnis: An International Journal of Scientific Philosophy:1–25.
Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics.Herman Cappelen, David Plunkett & Alexis Burgess (eds.) - 2019 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
Neutralism and Conceptual Engineering.Patrick Greenough - 2019 - In Alexis Burgess, Herman Cappelen & David Plunkett (eds.), Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
What Should Conceptual Engineering Be All About?Isaac Manuel Gustavo - 2021 - Philosophia Philosophical Quarterly of Israel (5):1–13.

Analytics

Added to PP
2021-10-11

Downloads
234 (#53,554)

6 months
53 (#24,920)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Matthew Shields
University College Dublin