CANCELLED: Derek Ball - ‘Varieties of Temporal Externalism and Cappelen’s Prudential Argument’

Derek Ball (University of St. Andrews) will give a talk titled ‘Varieties of Temporal Externalism and Cappelen’s Prudential Argument’.

One of Herman Cappelen’s main arguments for the importance of conceptual engineering is the Prudential Argument, which proceeds from the claim that our words and concepts can be defective — Cappelen calls this ’the Revisionist’s Basic Assumption’ --- and argues that such defects ought to be investigated and ameliorated.  I present some metasemantic views on which the Revisionist’s Basic Assumption is true but there is no possibility of conceptual engineering, show why the Prudential Argument fails in these cases, and relate the discussion to theoretical choice points for the metasemantic view I favour: temporal externalism, according to which what we mean now is determined in part by what happens later.

Published Feb. 5, 2020 3:35 PM - Last modified Mar. 11, 2020 1:50 PM