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Conceptual Analysis for Representationalists

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Abstract:

We use words to mark out patterns in nature. This is why a word like 'nutritious' is so useful. One way of thinking about conceptual analysis is as the business of capturing the structure in the patterns so picked out, for it is not credible that the patterns are one and all sui generis. This paper spells out this way of thinking about conceptual analysis. Along the way we discuss: the role of intuitions about possible cases with some reference to the experimental philosophy debate, why analyses are often hard to find, and whether conceptual analysis so conceived presupposes a controversial version of the description theory of reference.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2010

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