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09:15-10:45 Session 10A: Conceptual engineering
Location: UniS, A-122
Change Your Way of Thinking. A Neo-Fregean View on Conceptual Engineering

ABSTRACT. The Neo-Fregean view is an objective internalist view of concepts. It claims that concepts are ways of thinking which imply classifications. I aim to outline how Neo-Fregeans may successfully deal with conceptual engineering (CE), that is, the activity of promoting changing ways of thinking. I claim three main advantages of adopting the Neo-Fregean view on CE. First, Neo-Fregeanism can imply that CE targets concepts rather than word meanings. This correctly predicts that CE may succeed without meaning change and fail despite meaning change. Second, Neo-Fregeans have ways to deal with two worries against CE that arise from Cappelen’s (2018) externalist ‘austerity framework’. Against these worries, they may claim that i) CE is scrutable to a sufficient degree, and ii) we have sufficient control over CE (even if we do not have control over word meanings). Third, in straightforwardly meeting Cappelen’s challenges, Neo-Fregean internalism may have an advantage over subjective/‘psychological‘ internalism.

Engineering concepts through the method of cases (and its limits)

ABSTRACT. I will discuss a novel, conceptual-engineering-friendly, interpretation of the method of cases, according to which we provide reasons for why we should understand a given concept in a particular way by appealing to our intuitions of intensions (i.e., intuitions on the general properties that an object falling under a given concept has). I will explain why this approach avoids the empirical-based critique often leveled against the traditionally understood method of cases, which is typically interpreted as relying on intuitions of extension and as part of conceptual analysis. Finally, I will explore the limitations of this new interpretation. Specifically, I will demonstrate that it cannot be applied in the theory of reference, as intuitions of extension play a constitutive role in that context.

09:15-10:45 Session 10B: Concepts and art
Location: UniS, B-102
On the Future of the Concept of Creativity

ABSTRACT. In this paper, I argue that we should distinguish two concepts of creativity. I will first give reasons as to why we should take our intuitions concerning creativity seriously: both our intuitions concerning creativity as an everyday ability and our intuitions concerning creativity as an exceptional ability to bring about exceptional products. Second, I will explain why I think we should distinguish two different concepts of creativity: the creativity of a process and the creativity of a product. One main point in the argument will be to present the advantages of such a distinction concerning our self-understanding as creative beings: here, the relevant concept is creativity as a process. Further, if we distinguish two concepts, philosophy has an important contribution to make to creativity research, which cannot be made by psychology: to give an account of the creative process as a conscious, intentional and autonomous process. The future of “creativity” is thus two-fold, and the creativity of AI as the creativity of products does not necessarily threaten the creativity as an indispensable human ability to engage in creative processes.

The Concept of Narrative in Light of Virtual Reality and Videogames

ABSTRACT. The notion of narrative and the role narratives play in our lives is not only a long-established question, but it is also a very topical one. The research focuses on literary narratives, rather than narratives in daily life and narratives in other artistic media. The narratives in other media are assumed to display the same features than narratives in literary fiction. In this paper, I want to confront the notion of narrative to its use in virtual reality (VR) and videogames. I argue that the notion of narrative needs to take into account interactivity and immersion ¬– two central features of VR videogames – which were ignored in the research on narratives until now, because the focus was on literary fictions. The paper furthermore argues that interactivity and immersion seem to be central elements of daily life narratives, too.

11:15-12:30 Session 11: Keynote III
Location: UniS, A-122
After Metaethics

ABSTRACT. co-authored with Tristram McPherson

In recent work, several philosophers have begun to explicitly explore the conceptual ethics of normativity. Put roughly, this is a kind of normative and evaluative inquiry that aims to assess the normative words and concepts that we currently use, as well as salient possible alternative normative words and concepts that we might choose to adopt. One important question about this project is how it relates to more familiar metaethical or metanormative inquiries. This paper helps to illustrate the deep ways in which metanormative and conceptual ethics inquiries can interact, and why it is valuable for practitioners of these projects to attend to the relationships between them. The paper begins by introducing a powerful (although not exhaustive) model for thinking about this interaction, which generalizes on the recent “after error theory” literature. We argue that this model allows us to identify important and neglected views about the normative, and to better understand the argumentative burdens that philosophers take on in defending such views. We conclude by briefly discussing another way that thinking about error theory can be important for understanding the relationship between the conceptual ethics of normativity and metanormative inquiry: by complicating how we can understand the project of conceptual ethics itself.