Call for Papers

The workshop is centered around exploring philosophical methodology with an eye on questions regarding the relation between conceptual analysis, explication, and formal methods in philosophy.

The method of conceptual analysis, classically construed, is sometimes conceived of as the standard method of conceptual clarification in philosophy. The purpose of a conceptual analysis is to provide descriptive definitions. One analyzes a concept by providing individually necessary and jointly sufficient conditions an object has to fulfill in order to fall under the concept to be clarified. Such definitions are based on a priori knowledge about the respective synonymity relations. In contrast, the method of explication, as introduced by Carnap, does not rely on knowledge about such ´relations. According to Carnap, the purpose of an explication is to replace an imprecise term by a related, more precise term, which is supposed to express a concept which is simpler, more exact, more fruitful than, and similar to the concept expressed by the former. This method has been most influential in parts of the philosophy of science as well as in recent developments within formal philosophy.

Whereas the notion of conceptual analysis has been hotly debated in recent years, the notion of explication, the use of formal methods in philosophy, and the relationship between these methods have attracted far less attention. This workshop tries to diminish that gap.

We welcome submissions for up to three additional talks (up to 45 minutes talk, no less than 15 minutes discussion). We are especially (but not exclusively) interested in papers concerning:

  • conceptual analysis
  • Carnap’s conception of explication
  • methods of conceptual clarification in general
  • a priori knowledge, thought experiments and their role in philosophy
  • formal methods and their role in philosophy

Pending budgetary approval, small travel grants will be available for contributed papers. We plan to publish a selection of papers in a special issue in an international peer reviewed journal.

Please submit a short abstract of 150 words and an extended anonymous abstract of 1000 words (PDF) until March 1, 2016 here: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=philmeth2016

Results will be communicated to authors in mid-March 2016.

Inquiries may be addressed to: philosophy.step@gmail.com

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