ArgLab • Colloquium

Herman Cappelen

Conceptual Engineering: Under our Control?

Conceptual Engineering is the project of assessing our representational devices, proposing improvements, and then try to implement those suggested improvements. The central question in this talk is: To what extent is the process of improving our representational devices one we are in control of? What does ‘control’ mean? I explain why it would be awful if this was a process we could be in control of. Natural languages are naturally conservative and not easily swayed by us – and that’s a very good thing (in effect: languages are more sensible than us).