Conceptual Engineering and Method of Explication

Keywords: Amie Thomasson, conceptual engineering, explication, Herman Cappelen, Rudolf Carnap, Willard Van Orman Quine


Herman Cappelen in his book Fixing language (2018) proposed a project within conceptual engineering according to which what we revise in concepts is their intension and extension. He undertook a polemic with the ideas in concept engineering according to which we appeal to functions and purposes when revising. In the first part of this paper I describe the aforementioned discussion. In doing so, I refer to Amie Thomasson’s article “A Pragmatic Method for Normative Conceptual Work” (2020). Next, I attempt to defend positions that refer to functions and purposes in conceptual revision. For this purpose, I refer to Michael Prinzing’s article „The Revisionist’s Rubic: Conceptual Engineering and Discontinuity Objection” (2018). In the second part of the article, I intend to describe the method of explication as one of the methods by which we perform conceptual revision. I turn my attention to the explication used by Quine. He proposes to focus when explicating on what function a concept serves.

Author Biography

Artur Kosecki, University of Szczecin, Poland

Antoni Torzewski, MA — University of Szczecin, Institute of Philosophy and Cognitive Science, PhD student


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