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Christian Nimtz (Bielefeld)
Christian Nimtz (Bielefeld)

Thu, 11 Jul


CEN Webinar | Spring 24

Christian Nimtz (Bielefeld)


11 Jul 2024, 16:00 – 17:30 CEST

CEN Webinar | Spring 24


Title: Why Conceptual Engineers Should Care About Implementation

Abstract: I make a general case for the methodological importance of implementation for conceptual engineering. Jennifer Nado (2023) has recently argued that since conceptual engineering as a philosophical project boils down to (re)designing representational tools, conceptual engineers can safely set aside questions of implementation. I disagree. Using the Social Norms Account of implementation as an illustrative foil, I argue for three claims. (1) A sound theoretical understanding of implementation is essential for theorists of conceptual engineering. It is crucial for evaluating claims such as Koslow's (2022), who argues from the linguistic mechanisms that govern language change to the conclusion that the prospects for "ambitious conceptual engineering projects of the sort hopes most ride on’" (ibid., 23) are bleak. (2) A sound theoretical understanding of implementation is essential for conceptual engineering practitioners. This holds true even if Nado is right that the practice of conceptual engineering really boils down to (re)designing 'useful ways of carving up reality' (Nado 2023, 145). I conclude that both theorists and practitioners of conceptual engineering have very good reasons to engage with the theory of implementation; as a class, they should think long and hard about deliberate representational change. I also take it that (1) and (2) illustrate that (3) engaging with implementation theory is a theoretically challenging and philosophically rewarding project in and of itself, and an engineering project at that.

Meeting-ID: 670 7633 6616

Passwort: CEN24


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