ArgLab • Colóquio

Herman Cappelen on “Conceptual Engineering: Under our Control?”

ArgLab Research Colloquium

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).


Herman Cappelen, University of Oslo (Norway) and University of St Andrews (United Kingdom)