Conceptual Engineering can mean
- building things with Concepts, for example Models or s;
- assessment and amelioration of Concepts to improve their .
While the first sense captures a lot of my work and especially how, the second has greater potential impact and is more central to my overall Theory of Change.
My practice of Conceptual Engineering is committed to Deflation, Holism and Emancipation. This means it adheres to the following principles:
- Use Deflationary Explanations to get rid of Folk Ontology and in order to make our thinking more precise, accountable and empirically adequate.
- Treat individual concepts as nodes in a
Network, the position in which determines the concept’s function
and content. Thus changing one concept necessarily means changing other
concepts, making Conceptual Engineering an ongoing effort in . For pragmatic reasons, there needs to be
- a cut-off point for each iteration of refactoring and hence
- a limit to the overall coherence of the network at any point in time.
- Propose improvements that expose and critique , making visible and enabling its subversion.
- Cappelen & Plunkett (2018): “A Guided Tour of Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics”
- Haraway (2016): Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene
- Haslanger (2018): “Going On, Not in the Same Way”
- Suspended Reason (2020): “Conceptual engineering: the revolution in philosophy you’ve never heard of”