Universität Wien

180247 SE Conceptual Engineering (2023S)

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 18 - Philosophie
Continuous assessment of course work

Registration/Deregistration

Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).

Details

max. 30 participants
Language: English

Lecturers

Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Thursday 09.03. 08:00 - 09:30 Hörsaal 3D, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. III/3. Stock, 1010 Wien
Thursday 16.03. 08:00 - 09:30 Hörsaal 3D, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. III/3. Stock, 1010 Wien
Thursday 23.03. 08:00 - 09:30 Hörsaal 3D, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. III/3. Stock, 1010 Wien
Thursday 30.03. 08:00 - 09:30 Hörsaal 3D, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. III/3. Stock, 1010 Wien
Thursday 20.04. 08:00 - 09:30 Hörsaal 3D, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. III/3. Stock, 1010 Wien
Thursday 27.04. 08:00 - 09:30 Hörsaal 3D, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. III/3. Stock, 1010 Wien
Thursday 04.05. 08:00 - 09:30 Hörsaal 3D, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. III/3. Stock, 1010 Wien
Thursday 11.05. 08:00 - 09:30 Hörsaal 3D, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. III/3. Stock, 1010 Wien
Thursday 25.05. 08:00 - 09:30 Hörsaal 3D, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. III/3. Stock, 1010 Wien
Thursday 01.06. 08:00 - 09:30 Hörsaal 3D, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. III/3. Stock, 1010 Wien
Thursday 15.06. 08:00 - 09:30 Hörsaal 3D, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. III/3. Stock, 1010 Wien
Thursday 22.06. 08:00 - 09:30 Hörsaal 3D, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. III/3. Stock, 1010 Wien
Thursday 29.06. 08:00 - 09:30 Hörsaal 3D, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. III/3. Stock, 1010 Wien

Information

Aims, contents and method of the course

Reflection on concepts seems to be one of the favourite activities of philosophers. Often philosophers try to find out about the characteristics of a given concept, such as the concept of justice, the concept of truth or the concept of a person—perhaps the target is the concept a certain group expresses when using the word "justice" (or "truth" or "person"). Sometimes, the result of such an investigation is that the concept in question is in some way deficient: imprecise, trivial, incoherent, contradictory, or in some other way unhelpful. That raises the question: should the deficient concept be improved or perhaps replaced by a better one?
Carnap long ago coined the notion of explication: to explicate a concept is to replace an existing imprecise or otherwise deficient concept by an improved concept that can somehow capture the purpose of the original concept. In recent years, more and more philosophers pursue not only the project of describing some concept we have, but engage in the normative project of proposing possible improvements of concepts. For example, Sally Haslanger proposes deliberately to modify the concept of a woman in order to achieve certain desirable results, and Kevin Scharp proposes to replace the concept of truth by two new concepts.
"Conceptual Engineering" is the buzzword that has gained currency for these types of normative endeavour that aim for conceptual improvement. The aim of this course will be to study some key texts in this area, starting with some classics and moving on to some more recent important research articles, and thereby to understand some main views in this area. Furthermore the aim is for the participants to begin to develop their own views in this area by discussing draft essays and recorded short presentations in class, and developing this into a short course essay.
In the first sessions, we will be studying and discussing 8 or 9 texts. Towards the end of the semester, there will be several sessions in which we will be discussing participants' own work in class (exact format of peer feedback to be specified at the beginning of the course). The course essay is supposed to be the result of revising earlier work in the light of the feedback received.

Assessment and permitted materials

Weekly summaries of texts and feedback to others' work (10%), own draft essay/recorded presentation (30%), Course essay, maximum of 2000 words length (60%).

Your written submissions may not be written with the help of generative AI tools such as ChatGPT. You may be interviewed on any written submission to establish your authorship.

By enrolling in this course, you agree that all your written submissions may be examined through the automated plagiarism software Turnitin.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Required for passing: Attendance in class; completion of all assessments, with an overall grade of at least 4. The overall grade is the weighted average of the grades of the assessments as follows: Weekly summaries of texts and feedback to others' work (10%), own draft essay/recorded presentation (30%), Course essay, maximum of 2000 words length (60%).

All assessments are marked on the marking scale from 1 to 5: 1 (very good) , 2 (good), 3 (satisfactory), 4 (sufficient), 5 (fail).

Criteria for for marking weekly summaries and feedback: regular and timely submission, clarity, seriousness.
Criteria for for marking draft essay, recorded presentation: relevance to question, clarity of exposition, appropriate use of course texts, cogency or argumentation.
Criteria for for marking course essay: relevance to question, clarity of exposition, appropriate use of course texts, cogency of argumentation, use of feedback.

Examination topics

There is no exam. For assessments, see above.

Reading list

Preliminary list of texts studied in the first part:

1. Cappelen, Herman (2017): pp. 16–9; 22–46 von Fixing Language: An Essay in Conceptual Engineering. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
2. Carnap, Rudolf (1950): “On Explication”, pp. 1–18 von Logical Foundations of Probability, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
3. Strawson, Peter F. (1963). “Carnap’s Views on Conceptual Systems versus Natural Languages in Analytic Philosophy”. Und: Carnap, Rudolf (1963). “P. F. Strawson on linguistic naturalism”. 503–18 und 933–940 in Paul Arthur Schilpp (ed.), The Philosophy of Rudolf Carnap. La Salle, IL: Open Court.
4. Haslanger, Sally (2000). “Gender and race: (What) are they? (What) do we want them to be?”. Noûs 34, pp. 31–55.
5. Eklund, Matti (2002) “Inconsistent languages”. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64, pp. 251–75.
6. Scharp, Kevin (2007) “Replacing truth”. Inquiry 50, pp. 606–21.
7. Jennifer Nado (2021). “Conceptual Engineering, Truth, and Efficacy.” Synthese 198, pp. 1507–1527.
8. Sarah Sawyer (2020) “Truth and Objectivity in Conceptual Engineering”, Inquiry 63. pp. 1001-1022.
9. Derek Ball (2020) “Revisionary Analysis without Meaning Change”. InAlexis Burgess, Herman Cappelen and David Plunkett (eds), Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics, pp. 35–58.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Th 27.04.2023 13:27