Conceptual innovation, function first

Simion, M. and Kelp, C. (2020) Conceptual innovation, function first. Noûs, 54(4), pp. 985-1002. (doi: 10.1111/nous.12302)

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Can we engineer conceptual change? While a positive answer to this question would be exciting news for philosophy, there has been a growing number of pessimistic voices in the literature. This paper resists this trend. Its central aim is to argue not only that conceptual engineering is possible but also that it is not even distinctively hard. In order to achieve this, we will develop a novel approach to conceptual engineering that has two key components. First, it proposes a reorientation of the conceptual engineering project away from fixing conceptual defects and towards bringing about conceptual innovation. Second, it offers a new account of when conceptual engineering is successful in terms of etiological functions. We then turn to the reasons that have motivated various forms of pessimism about conceptual engineering and show that, on our novel approach, none of them stands up to scrutiny.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kelp, Professor Christoph and Simion, Professor Mona
Authors: Simion, M., and Kelp, C.
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Journal Name:Noûs
ISSN (Online):1468-0068
Published Online:05 July 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
First Published:First published in Noûs 54(4): 985-1002
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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