CFP: Empirical Conceptual Engineering: Implementations, Challenges, and its Theoretical Basis

Submission deadline: September 30, 2023

Conference date(s):
December 7, 2023 - December 8, 2023

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

Department of Philosophy, University of Zürich
Zürich, Switzerland


Philosophy has recently seen two methodological shifts that have changed many philosophers' self-conception of their research. The first, experimental philosophy, proceeds under the belief that many philosophical questions, traditionally seen to require only careful thought to solve, actually often rest on complex hidden empirical questions. The second methodological shift, conceptual engineering, sees the goal of philosophy to identify defective concepts and then design and spread improved replacement concepts.

Many have argued that conceptual engineering needs experimental philosophy to succeed, yet the ways in which the two methods are intertwined has only begun to be mapped and explored in practice. This workshop aims to explore two main questions: First, should empirical methods be used by conceptual engineers? Second, what does empirical conceptual engineering involve and how should it proceed?

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

Demonstrations of empirical conceptual engineering

Mapping the intersection between conceptual engineering and empirical disciplines

The limits of empirical data to conceptual engineering

What conceptual engineers can learn from historical case studies

Adjusting experimental philosophy to better serve conceptual engineering (or vice versa)

Please send an abstract (500 words) to [email protected] by 30 September. Participants will hear of the decision by 7 October.

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