An oblique epistemic defence of conceptual analysis

Harper, Alexander S. (2012) An oblique epistemic defence of conceptual analysis. Metaphilosophy, 43 3: 235-256. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9973.2012.01742.x


Author Harper, Alexander S.
Title An oblique epistemic defence of conceptual analysis
Journal name Metaphilosophy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0026-1068
1467-9973
Publication date 2012-04
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9973.2012.01742.x
Volume 43
Issue 3
Start page 235
End page 256
Total pages 22
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract This article argues, against contemporary experimentalist criticism, that conceptual analysis has epistemic value, with a structure that encourages the development of interesting hypotheses which are of the right form to be valuable in diverse areas of philosophy. The article shows, by analysis of the Gettier programme, that conceptual analysis shares the proofs and refutations form Lakatos identified in mathematics. Upon discovery of a counterexample, this structure aids the search for a replacement hypothesis. The search is guided by heuristics. The heuristics of conceptual analysis are similar to those in other interesting areas of scholarship, and so hypotheses generated by it are of the right form to be applicable to diverse areas. The article shows that the explanationist criterion in epistemology was developed and applied in this way. The epistemic value of conceptual analysis is oblique because it contributes not towards the main purpose of conceptual analysis but towards the reliable development of epistemically valuable hypotheses in philosophy and scholarship.
Keyword Conceptual analysis
Epistemology
Evolutionary epistemology
Experimental philosophy
Explanationism
Edmund Gettier
Heuristic
Imre Lakatos
Philosophical methodology
Explanation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 11 April 2012.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics Publications
 
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