CFP: The Foundations of Conceptual Engineering

Submission deadline: April 30, 2018

Conference date(s):
September 14, 2018 - September 15, 2018

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

Department of Philosophy, New York University
New York, United States


We invite submissions of papers to be considered for presentation at a conference on The Foundations of Conceptual Engineering, to be held at New York University, on September 14 and 15, 2018.


One dimension of cognitive success is getting it right, i.e gaining knowledge of facts. Another dimension of cognitive success is using the right concepts, i.e. framing a topic in the right way. This view, if correct, tasks inquirers with critically examining the concepts they are using and perhaps replacing those concepts with new and better ones. This task is often known as “conceptual engineering”.

The idea that conceptual engineering is an important task for inquirers in and outside philosophy has recently gained traction. Some philosophers think conceptual engineering is an important task that inquirers ought to pursue. The conference is focused on foundational issues in connection with conceptual engineering and push towards a better understanding of the process. We invite submission of papers addressing questions such as the following:

• What are the semantic mechanisms that underlie conceptual engineering?
• What are concepts, and which role (if any) do they play in conceptual engineering?
• How can a theory of conceptual engineering be integrated with large-scale semantic theories? • Which precise changes does a language undergo when its speakers engineer concepts?
• Is conceptual engineering something that speakers can ever purposefully bring about?
• What is the relation between changing concepts and changing reality?

We encourage both submissions that are sympathetic with the project of conceptual engineering and submissions that are critical. We particularly welcome submissions from underrepresented groups in the profession.

Confirmed Speakers

  • Alexis Burgess and David Plunkett
  • Alex Byrne
  • Herman Cappelen
  • David Chalmers
  • Matti Eklund
  • Vera Flocke
  • Sally Haslanger
  • Edouard Machery
  • Laura Schroeter
  • Amie Thomasson

We have reserved two slots to be filled through the open call for papers.


The conference is organized collaboratively by members of NYU (Vera Flocke and David Chalmers) and members of the research Project ConceptLab, located at the University of Oslo (Herman Cappelen and Andrew Peet). The conference is funded by the New York Institute of Philosophy (NYIP) and ConceptLab. Travel and accommodation expenses for all speakers will be covered.

Submission guidelines

Please submit your paper prepared for blind review to, no later than April 30, 2018, noting “Conference Submission” in the subject line. The paper should be suitable for a 40 minutes presentation. In the body of your email, please include (i) your name, (ii) the title of your paper, (iii) your institutional affiliation and (iv) an abstract of no more than 200 words. We hope to have decisions on all submitted papers by the end of May.

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