24 found
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  1. Conceptual Engineering: A Road Map to Practice.Manuel Gustavo Isaac, Steffen Koch & Ryan Nefdt - 2022 - Philosophy Compass 17 (10):1-15.
    This paper discusses the logical space of alternative conceptual engineering projects, with a specific focus on (1) the processes, (2) the targets and goals, and (3) the methods of such projects. We present an overview of how these three aspects interact in the contemporary literature and discuss those alternative projects that have yet to be explored based on our suggested typology. We show how choices about each element in a conceptual engineering project constrain the possibilities for the others, thereby giving (...)
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  2. The externalist challenge to conceptual engineering.Steffen Koch - 2021 - Synthese 198 (1):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 histories or microphysical (...)
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  3. Recent work in the theory of conceptual engineering.Steffen Koch, Guido Löhr & Mark Pinder - 2023 - Analysis 83 (3):589-603.
    A philosopher argues that state-sponsored cyberattacks against central military or civilian targets are always acts of war. What is this philosopher doing? According to conceptual analysts, the philosopher is making a claim about our concept of war. According to philosophical realists, the philosopher is making a claim about war per se. In a quickly developing literature, a third option is being explored: the philosopher is engineering the concept of war. On this view, the philosopher is making a proposal about which (...)
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  4. Engineering what? On concepts in conceptual engineering.Steffen Koch - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):1955-1975.
    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 give us the full story. (...)
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  5. The Anti-Conceptual Engineering Argument and the Problem of Implementation.Steffen Koch - 2024 - American Philosophical Quarterly 61 (1):73-85.
    Conceptual engineering concerns the assessment and improvement of our concepts. But how can proposals to engineer concepts be implemented in the real world? This is known as the implementation challenge to conceptual engineering. In this paper, I am concerned with the meta-philosophical implications of the implementation challenge. Specifically, must we overcome the implementation challenge prior to undertaking conceptual engineering? Some critics have recently answered this question affirmatively. I intend to show that they are mistaken. I argue as follows. First, successful (...)
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  6. 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 Deutsch by arguing, first, (...)
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  7. Experimental philosophy and the method of cases.Joachim Horvath & Steffen Koch - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (1):e12716.
    In this paper, we first briefly survey the main responses to the challenge that experimental philosophy poses to the method of cases, given the common assumption that the latter is crucially based on intuitive judgments about cases. Second, we discuss two of the most popular responses in more detail: the expertise defense and the mischaracterization objection. Our take on the expertise defense is that the available empirical data do not support the claim that professional philosophers enjoy relevant expertise in their (...)
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  8. Carnapian explications, experimental philosophy, and fruitful concepts.Steffen Koch - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (6):700-717.
    It seems natural to think that Carnapian explication and experimental philosophy can go hand in hand. But what exactly explicators can gain from the data provided by experimental philosophers remains controversial. According to an influential proposal by Shepherd and Justus, explicators should use experimental data in the process of ‘explication preparation’. Against this proposal, Mark Pinder has recently suggested that experimental data can directly assist an explicator’s search for fruitful replacements of the explicandum. In developing his argument, he also proposes (...)
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  9. Why Conceptual Engineers Should Not Worry About Topics.Steffen Koch - 2021 - Erkenntnis 88 (5):1-21.
    This paper argues for explanatory eliminativism about topics (and cognates, such as subject matters) relative to the domain of conceptual engineering. It has become usual to think that topics serve an important explanatory role in theories of conceptual engineering, namely, to determine the limits of revision. I argue, first, that such limits can be understood either as thenormative limitspertaining to the justification of conceptual engineering, as themetaphysical limitspertaining to the identity of the concepts in question, or as theterminological limitspertaining to (...)
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  10.  19
    Why Conceptual Engineers Should Not Worry About Topics.Steffen Koch - 2021 - Erkenntnis 88 (5):2123-2143.
    This paper argues for explanatory eliminativism about topics (and cognates, such as subject matters) relative to the domain of conceptual engineering. It has become usual to think that topics serve an important explanatory role in theories of conceptual engineering, namely, to determine the limits of revision. I argue, first, that such limits can be understood either as the normative limits pertaining to the justification of conceptual engineering, as the metaphysical limits pertaining to the identity of the concepts in question, or (...)
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  11. Babbling stochastic parrots? A Kripkean argument for reference in large language models.Steffen Koch - manuscript
    Recently developed large language models (LLMs) perform surprisingly well in many language-related tasks, ranging from text correction or authentic chat experiences to the production of entirely new texts or even essays. It is natural to get the impression that LLMs know the meaning of natural language expressions and can use them productively. Recent scholarship, however, has questioned the validity of this impression, arguing that LLMs are ultimately incapable of understanding and producing meaningful texts. This paper develops a more optimistic view. (...)
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  12. Chalmers on Virtual Reality: Realism on the Cheap?Steffen Koch - 2022 - Analysis 82 (4):766-774.
    You sit in your office and put on the latest pair of virtual reality (VR) goggles. Suddenly, you stand in the middle of Times Square. A car almost hits you. You.
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  13.  94
    How words matter: A psycholinguistic argument for meaning revision.Steffen Koch - 2024 - Mind and Language:364-380.
    Linguistic interventions aim to change our linguistic practices. A commonly discussed type of linguistic intervention is meaning revision, which seeks to associate existing words with new or revised meanings. But why does retaining old words matter so much? Why not instead introduce new words to express the newly defined meanings? Drawing on relevant psycholinguistic research, this paper develops an empirically motivated, general, and practically useful pro tanto reason to retain rather than replace the original word during the process of conceptual (...)
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  14. Conceptual infrastructure and conceptual engineering.Steffen Koch & Jochen Briesen - 2023 - In Aaron Pinnix, Axel Volmar, Fernando Esposito & Nora Binder (eds.), Rethinking Infrastructure Across the Humanities. Transcript. pp. 75-86.
  15. On the possibility of heavy duty conceptual engineering.Steffen Koch & Jakob Ohlhorst - manuscript
    Conceptual engineering is the process of assessing and improving our conceptual repertoire. Some authors have claimed that introducing or revising concepts through conceptual engineering can go as far as expanding the realm of thinkable thoughts and thus enable us to form beliefs, hypotheses, wishes, or desires that we are currently unable to form. We call this kind of conceptual engineering heavy-duty conceptual engineering. As exciting as the idea of heavy-duty conceptual engineering sounds, it has never been developed or defended. In (...)
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  16. Conceptual Engineering: Begriffe auf dem Prüfstand.Steffen Koch - 2022 - In Niklas Grouls & Laura Martena (eds.), Anspruch und Methode der Philosophie. Stimmen aus der Gegenwart. WBG Academic. pp. 101-130.
    Begriffe sind die Bausteine unserer Gedanken. Wir nutzen sie, um Ordnung in die Vielzahl der uns umgebenden Einzeldinge zu bringen, um Schlussfolgerungen zu ziehen, um Überzeugungen, Hoffnungen oder Wünsche zu formen, um uns miteinander zu verständigen. Viele unserer begrifflichen Gebilde unterliegen Korrektheitsbedingungen. Überzeugungen können falsch sein, Theorien ebenso. Doch wie sieht es mit unseren Begriffen selbst aus? Können auch diese in einem bestimmten Sinne falsch oder ungeeignet sein? Sollten wir gar versuchen, unser begriffliches Repertoire aktiv umzugestalten, indem wir z. B. (...)
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  17. Reliabilismus.Steffen Koch - 2019 - In Martin Grajner & Guido Melchior (eds.), Handbuch Erkenntnistheorie. Stuttgart: Metzler. pp. 169-178.
    This is a survey article about reliabilism. It introduces its main ideas, outlines some of its core challenges and discusses a number of solutions.
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  18. New Perspectives on Conceptual Engineering.Manuel Gustavo Isaac, Kevin Scharp & Steffen Koch (eds.) - forthcoming - Synthese Library.
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  19. Folk intuitions about reference change and the causal theory of reference.Steffen Koch & Alex Wiegmann - 2022 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 8 (25).
    In this paper, we present and discuss the findings of two experiments about reference change. Cases of reference change have sometimes been invoked to challenge traditional versions of semantic externalism, but the relevant cases have never been tested empirically. The experiments we have conducted use variants of the famous Twin Earth scenario to test folk intuitions about whether natural kind terms such as ‘water’ or ‘salt’ switch reference after being constantly (mis)applied to different kinds. Our results indicate that this is (...)
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  20. Methods in Analytic Philosophy: A Primer and Guide.Joachim Horvath, Steffen Koch & Michael G. Titelbaum (eds.) - forthcoming - London, ON: PhilPapers Foundation.
    Forthcoming guide with brief introductions on methods in analytic philosophy by experts on the relevant topics. With sections on: formal methods, argumentation, inferential methods, thought experiments, intuition, ordinary language philosophy, conceptual analysis, conceptual engineering, naturalism, analytic feminism, experimental philosophy, and progress and disagreement in philosophy.
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    Interactive Visualization for Reflected Text Analytics.Martin Baumann, Steffen Koch, Markus John & Thomas Ertl - 2020 - In Nils Reiter, Axel Pichler & Jonas Kuhn (eds.), Reflektierte Algorithmische Textanalyse: Interdisziplinäre(s) Arbeiten in der Creta-Werkstatt. De Gruyter. pp. 269-296.
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  22. 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 topics (Erkenntnis, forthcoming); 5. Carnapian explication, experimental philosophy, and fruitful (...)
     
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  23. Cappelen, H. 2018. Fixing Language. An Essay in Conceptual Engineering. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 224 pp. ISBN: 978-0-198-81471-9. [REVIEW]Steffen Koch - 2019 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 22 (1):248-256.
    This is a review article of Herman Cappelen's monograph 'Fixing Language. An Essay on Conceptual Engineering' (OUP 2018). It summarizes the key elements of the book and objects to various of Cappelen's claims.
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  24. Herman Cappelen. Fixing Language. An Essay on Conceptual Engineering. [REVIEW]Steffen Koch - 2019 - Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy 20 (1):248–256.