Syllabus/achievement requirements

FIL4400 – Philosophy of language/logic,

Fall 2019 Conceptual Engineering: What it is and its role in philosophy


Conceptual Engineering has recently emerged as one of the central themes of philosophy (This is in part due to the work done in ConceptLab at the University of Oslo.) This course provides an introduction to the field. Topics to be discussed include: What is conceptual engineering and what role does it play in philosophy? What are the limits of conceptual engineering? What are concepts? How can concepts be improved? Is conceptual improvement within our control? What is the role of genealogy is conceptual engineering? Can our concept of knowledge be improved? Can our concept of beauty be improved? Can our concept of truth be improved? Can our race and gender concepts be improved? Can our moral notions be improved?



Cappelen: Fixing Language: An Essay on Conceptual Engineering (available for free for all students via Oxford Scholarship Online:



Cappelen: Conceptual Engineering: The Master Argument


Cappelen and Plunkett: A Guided Tour of Conceptual Engineering


Plunkett and Sundell: Disagreement and the Semantics of Normative and Evaluative Terms


Chalmers: Verbal Disputes


Matti Eklund: Replacing Truth?



Patrick Greenough: Neutralism and Conceptual Engineering



Plunkett: Which Concepts Should We Use?



Haslanger: How not to Change the Subject


Sarah Sawyer: The Role of Concepts in Fixing Language (available in Canvas)


Kevin Scharp: “Philosophy as the Study of Defective Concepts”


Schroeter and Schroeter: “Inscrutability and its Discontents” (available in Canvas)


Tim Sundell: Changing the Subject? (available in Canvas)


Amie Thomasson: A Pragmatic Method for Conceptual Ethics





Published June 13, 2019 9:45 AM - Last modified June 18, 2019 11:44 AM