Christian Nimtz: Naturalisierte Erkenntnistheorie, in: Thomas Bonk (Hg.): Lexikon der Erkenntnistheorie, Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft 2009.
Christian Nimtz: Geschmack und Überlegenheit. Ein Kommentar zu Julia Zakkous Faultless Disagreement, Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 74 (2), 2020.
Christian Nimtz: Das Ende des linguistic turn? Eine Stellungnahme, Information Philosophie 04/2016.
Abstract I discuss conceptual engineering as a normative philosophical methodology. My focus will be on this methodology as it is advanced by Matti Eklund and Herman Cappelen. I identify two normative principles prominent in Eklund and Cappelen. NORMATIVITY has it that any individual philosopher pursuing any philosophical project is under a general obligation to conceptually engineer. REVISIONISM puts us the philosophical community under an obligation to ensure that normative projects asking “What should our concept of F be?” rather than “What is our concept of F?” make up a good part of our philosophical practice. I take issue with both principles. I argue that for many philosophical projects, NORMATIVITY is either false or ineffectual. Given our philosophical aims and purposes, we should often satisfice (strive for concepts that are all right) rather than optimize (strive for concepts that are best). I argue that reflections on conceptual engineering do not support REVISIONISM. I conclude that construed as a normative philosophical methodology, conceptual engineering carries much less normative force than its proponents appear to think.
Abstract Kripke’s notion of ‘rigid designator’ is tailor-made for singular terms. Devitt (2005, 2009) has notably tried to generalize Kripke’s proposal by adding a clause specifying what it takes for a predicate to qualify as a rigid designator. I argue that attempts of this sort are most certainly doomed to failure. Given that we expect any general notion of rigidity to recognizably be a generalization of the Kripkean notion, an explanatory constraint built into Kripke’s approach will make us see that any such attempt is bound to yield a notion that is either inadequate, or subtly structurally deficient. This might seem good news to those like LaPorte (2013) or Martí/Martinez (2011) who think that properly understood, Kripke’s notion is already perfectly general to begin with. But they, too, might find it rather hard to accommodate Kripke’s explanatory constraint.
Abstract Philosophers employ armchair means even when they are concerned with a posteriori hypotheses that fall within the purview of the empirical sciences. Nolan (2015) and Papineau (2014) argue that philosophers are methodologically entitled to do so because they can theorize in their armchairs. I add to their defence of the a posteriori armchair. I argue that in their armchairs, philosophers can procure evidence apt to support empirical hypotheses. My argument proceeds via an in-depth case study. In his “The Essential Indexical”, John Perry commits to a posteriori hypotheses about human locating beliefs exclusively on the evidence gathered from a few imaginary armchair scenarios – most prominently, the case of the absent-minded shopper. I argue that Perry is methodologically entitled to do so for two key reasons. First, Perry uses his imaginary scenarios in a distinctive way: he employs them as puzzle cases to identify explananda for a theory of locating belief. Since a few well-chosen explananda can make all the difference in an abductive argument, as I argue, this explains why Perry’s few imaginary cases can provide sufficient support for his empirical claims. Second, although the explananda Perry derives from his imaginary puzzle are, for all we know, not actually true, they could easily be true, and we know this. I argue that since known near-actual truths of this sort provide empirical backing, the data Perry derives from his imaginary cases is indeed suited to abductively support a posteriori hypotheses about human cognition. As it turns out, then, the a posteriori armchair is an even better place for doing philosophy than Nolan and Papineau think.
Was ist Aufklärung? Was hat es mit ‚Metaphysik’ auf sich? Was ist Tugend? – Die im „Lexikon Philosophie. Hundert Grundbegriffe“ versammelten 100 Einträge, verfasst von 73 Philosophen unterschiedlicher Richtungen und Disziplinen, führen auf knappe und verständliche aber präzise Weise in diese und 97 andere Themen der Philosophie ein. Sie sollen nicht nur Studienanfängern und interessierte Laien einen Einstieg in das jeweilige Thema geben, sondern auch fortgeschrittenen Studenten einen schnellen ersten Einblick und eine weitere Orientierung ermöglichen.
What is enlightenment? What do we mean by ‘metaphysics’? What is virtue? – The hundred brief and accessible yet precise entries in the „Philosophical Encyclopedia. Hundred Key Concepts”, written by 73 experts from diverse philosophical schools and disciplines, cover these and 97 other philosophical topics. Although they might be best suited for beginner students and the wider public, they also aim to provide a quick first orientation to the advanced student.
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