Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Colloquium: Amie Thomasson, Professor of Philosophy, Dartmouth College

Friday, October 19, 2018 - 3:00pm

Cohen Hall, Room 402

Topic:  Conceptual Engineering: How Can We Do It?

Metaphysics should be thought of not as a rival to the sciences in discovering hidden ‘facts’ about existence or natures, but rather as fundamentally involved in conceptual work.  This conceptual work involves not just descriptive work in determining how our conceptual scheme does work but (often more interestingly) normative conceptual work, including work in conceptual ethics and conceptual engineering.  But how can we do such work?  How can we work out what concepts we should use, without relying on traditional metaphysical discoveries?  And even if we can work out what concepts or language we should use, can we hope to actually change the way people think or talk?