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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2021-22

PHIL 80.26 Conceptual Ethics and Conceptual Engineering

Some have argued that a central and legitimate job of philosophy involves conceptual ethics and conceptual engineering: that is, work in determining what sorts of language or concepts we should use, and how we should use them. In this course we will examine the motivations for thinking of philosophy in this way. We will go on to consider questions such as: How is conceptual engineering possible, and how could it lead to philosophical progress? To what extent can past philosophical debates be reconceived as involved in conceptual negotiation? What are the signs that conceptual (re-)engineering is needed? How can and should this sort of work be done? What view(s) of concepts are involved in undertaking this work—and is it better to think of this work at the conceptual or linguistic level? What criteria can and should we employ in evaluating concepts, or conceptual systems? Is conceptual engineering even possible—and if so, how can we do it?




Requires the permission of the instructor.

Distributive and/or World Culture


The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.