Oxford: Oxford University Press. Brain and Behavioral Science Philosophy within its Proper Bounds. Anthropology and Philosophy 10, pp. This approach embraces the following two theses amongst others.
ARE THERE DIFFERENT LOGICAL SYSTEMS THAT ARE MUTUALLY INCOMPATIBLE?
Firstly, the mechanisms that underlie conceptual engineering are inscrutable: they are too complex, unstable and non-systematic for us to grasp. Secondly, the process of conceptual engineering is largely beyond our control. And, indeed, this sort of thought has been suggested in the literature.
Burgess and Plunkett , for example, claim that internalists are better able to accommodate the idea that we have the semantic control required for deliberate engineering of concepts and expressions. However, Cappelen argues that neither Inscrutability nor Lack of Control are unique to his approach. Rather, they must be accepted by externalist and internalist views of meaning and content alike.
Cappelen argues as follows. Internalists claim that meaning supervenes on the internal properties of the individual.
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But this does not give us a direct route to semantic control or scrutability. Cappelen argues that, for the internalist to avoid commitment to Inscrutability and Lack of Control, she must provide arguments for 3 claims: a There are inner states that are scrutable and within our control; b concepts supervene on these inner states; and c the determination relation from supervenience base to content is itself scrutable and within our control. With regard to a , I will argue that it is plausible that we have a weak sort of control over some of our inner states, some of the time.
With regard to b , I will argue that it is reasonable to treat concepts as supervening on these states, as the resultant view is largely in keeping with widely accepted desiderata on a theory of concepts.
ARE THERE DIFFERENT LOGICAL SYSTEMS THAT ARE MUTUALLY INCOMPATIBLE?
With regard to c , I will argue that we should appeal, not to mere supervenience, but to alternative relations such as identity or realization in order secure the result that the relation from determination base to content is both scrutable and within our control. For example, concepts might be identical with locations in a semantic network, or they may be the realizers of conceptual roles. Thus, internalists may offer the resources needed to understand conceptual engineering as an actionable method for improving concepts.
Burgess, Alexis, and Plunkett, David Conceptual ethics I. Philosophy Compass 8: — Cappelen, Herman Fixing Language. The myth of cognitive agency: subpersonal thinking as a cyclically recurring loss of mental autonomy. Frontiers in Psychology, 4: Current metaphilosophical debates about conceptual engineering CE have uncovered a variety of important foundational issues about this method, such as its compatibility with semantic externalism or how the original topic can be preserved through the process of engineering.
Surprisingly, however, recent debates have rarely touched upon a question that seems central for the project of CE, namely on what kind of representation — e. I will argue that answering this question is not only relevant for developing an adequate metatheory of CE, but also has dramatic consequences for its actual implementation.
In my talk, I will begin with a critical discussion of two extant attempts at answering it. According to Cappelen , CE is about words instead of concepts. I will argue that this proposal is wanting, for once we take into account that word meanings are determined by facts external to the minds of their users, this picture of CE does not sit well with the idea that CE aims to bring about a change in how people mentally categorize the world — an idea I take to be central to almost any actual CE project. According to Machery , CE is about psychological concepts. I will argue that this proposal helps to remedy the problems of the first, as psychological concepts arguably play an important role in how we mentally categorize our environment.
Ultimately, however, this proposal is wanting in that it does not show how such concepts relate to language. This is worrisome because changing lexical meanings is crucial to many actual CE projects. In the second part of this talk, I will sketch how a more comprehensive account of CE could look like. The basic idea of my proposal is that concepts have a dual character, i.
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I will substantiate this view by linking it to various extant discussions in the literature about concepts. The upshot for CE is that due to the dual character of concepts, there are also two fundamentally different kinds of conceptual amelioration: psychological and referential. These two projects have different success conditions and suggest different strategies for their actual implementation.
Nonetheless, my proposal allows to see them as two aspects of a unified and broadly applicable methodological framework. Cappelen, H. Fixing language: An essay on conceptual engineering 1st ed. Machery, E. Philosophy within its proper bounds. According to selected-effects theories for instance, Neander ; Griffiths , selection is a source of teleology: purposes are effects preserved or promoted through a selective process. Selected-effects theories are favored by several authors who want to claim that Darwinian evolution introduces teleology in the biological world.
For the purposes of this presentation, we take selected-effects theories for granted, although we will provide some motivation for them by appeal to certain response-dependent meta-normative views about value, more specifically, views according to which value is generated by evaluative responses.
Defending the Axioms: On the Philosophical Foundations of Set Theory
While most selected-effects theories concentrate on natural selection for an exception, see Garson , our goal is to argue that there are other types of selective processes in biology and that such processes should be seen as giving rise to distinctive types of evaluative standards. More specifically, we suggest that biological self-regulation the mechanisms by which organisms monitor and regulate their own behavior and that has been the object of careful study in the biological sciences can be seen as a selective process.
In general, biological organisms include dedicated regulatory mechanisms that compensate for possible perturbations and keep the state of the system within certain ranges Bich et al The pressures that such self-regulatory submechanisms exercise on the states of the organism are a form of discriminatory reinforcement, as a result of which certain tendencies are inhibited while others are promoted. It is reasonable, therefore, to characterize biological self-regulation as a selective process.
So, those who accept selected-effects theories of teleology should also grant that biological self-regulation is a source of teleology — at least to the same extent that selected-effects theories are taken to vindicate the view that biological teleology is generated by natural selection. The purposes and evaluative standards introduced by self-regulation are independent of -and arguably sometimes conflicting with- the standards associated with natural selection.
Given that self-regulation is ubiquitous in the biological world, it is to be expected that the evaluative standards generated by it will play a prominent role in our explanations of biological phenomena. We think that the approach sketched in this paper offers an appealing integrative picture of the evaluative dimension of biology.
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Bich, L. Biological regulation: controlling the system from within. A generalized selected effects theory of function. Philosophy of Science, 84 3 , Griffiths, P. Functional analysis and proper functions. BJPS, 44 3 , Neander, K. Philosophy of Science, 58 2 , pp. Organisms as Situated Models Rachel A. This paper builds on this literature while taking up a new philosophical angle, namely that the environment, experimental set-ups, and other conditions in which the organism is situated are critical to its use as a model organism for an early discussion of this approach in historical context, see Ankeny et al.
Nelson on scaffolds. In such cases, the organism itself is only one component in a more complex model. In addition, this analysis assists us in making sense of the variety of modelling activities associated with the use of organisms in laboratories and elsewhere across various fields within biology e. Science in Context — Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Germain P-L Gross F, Green S Philosophy and Theory in Biology 9: 1— Liddell and the Development of Comparative Psychopathology, c.
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 24 online first. Kohler R Biology and Philosophy — Meunier R Nelson NC Raby M Isis — Ramsden E Calhoun and their Cultural Influence. Journal of Social History — Rheinberger, H-J The world of living objects possesses a hierarchical nature.
Genes are nested within chromosomes, chromosomes within cells, cells within organisms, organisms within groups, etc. This hierarchical attribute of the natural world is currently considered a consequence of the fact that evolution is a process that not only selects individuals, but also leads to the emergence of higher-level individuals.
These events, called evolutionary transitions in individuality ETIs , consist of mergers of autonomously reproducing units, to the extent that, after an ETI, such units no longer reproduce independently, but jointly, as a single entity. One of the most outstanding examples of an ETI is endosymbiosis, a process during which a host engulfs a free-living bacterium and subsequently on an evolutionary time scale transforms it into a part of its body, thus rendering it incapable of a free-living lifestyle. Although this might seem to be a rare event, it is currently established among biologists and philosophers that endosymbiosis has had a tremendous effect on the evolutionary history of species.
For instance, the mitochondrion, one of the most important organelles within cells, has an endosymbiotic origin.
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