Abstracts of Keynote talks:

Rachel Sterken (Oslo) 

Title: Authentic speech and conceptual engineering

Abstract: In this talk, I provide an analysis of authentic speech. In addition, I pose and answer various questions about authentic speech: What are paradigm examples of authentic speech and inauthentic speech? Is authentic speech valuable? What are its purposes? Is authentic speech possible? How does authentic speech differ from sincere speech? I’ll then use this analysis of authentic speech to probe its role in processes of conceptual change and revision, and to evaluate when and where we need more of it.


Patrick Greenough (St Andrews)

Title: Conceptual Engineering: Representation Engineering or Reality Engineering?

Abstract:Is Conceptual Engineering all about engineering our representations? Or is it about engineering the world? It’s one thing to engineer the concept of freedom, or to engineer the meaning of the word “freedom”; it’s quite another endeavour to engineer the worldly thing freedom. Which is it? Could it somehow be both? In this talk I defend The Reality-First View of Conceptual Engineering under which any Representation Engineering taking place is a mere byproduct of Reality Engineering. Will this yield an exciting and radically new account—one which will not only shift the centre of gravity of the whole project but allow the Engineer to sidestep the many pressing problems raised against Conceptual Engineering hitherto? As it turns out: no. Don’t get too excited. The story given here is a cautionary tale: Conceptual Engineering isn’t what we initially thought it was, can’t do much of what it is supposed to do, and isn’t any better off when it comes to the various pressing problems which have assailed the project from the outset.


Mona Simion (Co-authored with Chris Kelp, also attending) (Glasgow)

Title: Conceptual Innovation 

Abstract: We put forth two desiderata for conceptual engineering projects: an ameliorative and an epistemic one. We argue that the ameliorative desideratum creates difficulties for semantically motivated engineering projects, while the epistemic desideratum creates difficulties for projects in conceptual ethics. We then propose that our preferred methodological approach – conceptual innovation – best meets the proposed desiderata.


Kevin Scharp (St Andrews)

Title: The Austerity Framework vs Truth as a Defective Concept

Abstract: Cappelen in Fixing Language presents his own austerity framework for explaining conceptual engineering without appealing to concepts. He claims that the austerity framework does a better job of handling paradoxes like the liar than treating truth as a defective concept. It turns out that the austerity framework does not fare well in the comparison.



Location: Edgecliffe Room 104

Lunch will be available in Edgecliffe G03



DAY 1: June 11, 2019

9:00-9:15 Registration and Coffee

9:15-9:30 Masterclass Opening

9:30-11:00 Patrick Greenough (St Andrews): Conceptual Engineering: Representation Engineering or Reality Engineering?

11:00-11:10 Coffee

11:10-12:00 Nikolai Klix (Helsinki): On the Conceptual Insufficiency of Toleration and the  Quest for a Superseding Concept

Respondent: Stefano Lo Re

12:00-12:10 Coffee

12:10-13:00 María Bibiloni (Aberdeen): The Normativity of Slurs

Respondent: J.P. Grodniewicz (LOGOS)

13:00-14:00 Lunch

14:00-14:50 Joost Jakob Vecht (Oslo): Concept Attributivism

Respondent: Taylor-Grey Miller (UT Austin)

14:50-15:00 Coffee

15:00-16:30 Mona Simion (Glasgow) (co-authored with Chris Kelp) : Conceptual Innovation 

16:30-16:40 Coffee

16:40-17:30 Matthew Shields (Georgetown): Conceptual Domination

Respondent: Angie O’Sullivan (Edinburgh)

18:30 Masterclass Dinner at The Räv



DAY 2: June 12, 2019

9:00-10:30 Rachel Sterken (Oslo): Authentic Speech and Conceptual Engineering

10:30-10:40 Coffee

10:40-11:30 Elizabeth Cantalamessa (Miami): Conceptual Engineering and Public Institutions: On the Limits of ‘Negotiation’

Respondent: Adam Gibbons (Rutgers)

11:30-11:40 Coffee

11:40-12:30 Oliver Traldi (Notre Dame): The Ethics and Politics of Redefinition

Respondent: Finlay McCardel (Glasgow)

12:30-13:30 Lunch

13:30-15:00 Arché ECT Seminar in Edgecliffe G03 Leslie Stevenson (St Andrews): Conceptual Fault Lines and Human Agency

15:30-16:20 Jared Riggs (Toronto): Two Kinds of Conceptual Defectiveness

Respondent: Sofia Bokros (Cologne)

16:20-16:30 Coffee

16:30-18:00 Kevin Scharp (St Andrews): The Austerity Framework vs Truth as a Defective Concept