Matthieu Queloz - "Pragmatic Genealogy as Conceptual Reverse-Engineering"

Abstract: Though conceptual engineering is a forward-looking enterprise, the thought has been gaining traction that it should be guided by a prior understanding of the functions or points our concepts serve. In this talk, I explore some of the motivations for this backward-looking enterprise of conceptual reverse-engineering. I then argue that there is an under-appreciated tradition which offers a methodologically controlled way of doing conceptual reverse-engineering: the tradition of pragmatic genealogy. I develop an interpretation of pragmatic genealogy which makes sense of the seemingly incongruous way in which it combines state-of-nature fictions with real history.

Published June 20, 2019 4:10 PM - Last modified Sep. 10, 2019 2:47 PM