The Austerity Framework and Semantic Normativity

Pinder, Mark (2021). The Austerity Framework and Semantic Normativity. Inquiry, 64(1-2) pp. 123–141.



According to Herman Cappelen’s Austerity Framework, conceptual engineering doesn’t involve concepts, and barely involves engineering. I begin by raising two objections to the Austerity Framework as it stands: the framework cannot account for important normative aspects of conceptual engineering; and it doesn’t give us an adequate response to Strawson-style objections that conceptual engineering serves only to change the subject. I then supplement the Austerity Framework with an account of semantic normativity, which builds on the speaker/semantic meaning distinction, and show that so-supplemented the Austerity Framework successfully overcomes the two objections. I tentatively conclude that semantic normativity should play a key role in how we understand conceptual engineering.

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