Philosophical Methodology – Analysis and Explication
Time/时间：2：05-4:30pm周一和周三（Mondays and Wednesdays）(April 9, 11, 16,18, 23,25)
Dr. Raphael van Riel，德国杜伊斯堡大学哲学副教授，主要研究科学哲学、认识论、心灵哲学、语言哲学等。在Philosophy of Science, The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Synthese等国际著名期刊上发表多篇论文。
Introduction: The sessions introduce two conceptions of philosophical methodology that have been, and still are, highly influential in analytic philosophy: conceptual analysis and explication. These methodologies are closely linked, and it has been suggested that ultimately, they all instantiate one common structure. Yet, idealizing a bit, one may introduce the basic ideas as follows.
Conceptual analysis pursues the goal to offer individually necessary and jointly sufficient conditions for an object to belong to the extension of a philosophically significant concept, in an illuminating way. As such, conceptual analysis is conservative – its objective is to preserve the conceptual content it targets. A prominent example is the characterization of knowledge as justified true belief. Explications, in contrast, aim at fruitful reconstructions of some aspects of a given target concept, and the resulting characterization is supposed to meet conditions on theoretical elegance. As such, explication is not conservative, but, rather, constructive. A nonphilosophical example sometimes used to illustrate the basic idea is that of the biological characterization of the natural kind fish, according to which dolphins, for instance, do not belong to this category, although they were arguably captured by a pre-scientific concept of fish.
A variant of explications are critical or ameliorative projects, which try to uncover hidden and possibly problematic presuppositions in our conceptual scheme. Once these problematic presuppositions are identified, they offer, in a second step, improved versions of these concepts. A prominent example is that of allegedly biological concepts of the male/female distinction. It has been argued that categories associated with this distinction are partly socially constructed, despite the fact that they present the distinction as natural. In this spirit, concepts of socially constructed gender have been suggested as replacements (in some contexts) for seemingly biological conceptions of the male/female distinction.
Objective: After completion of the course, students will have a thorough conception of
these methodologies, and they will be aware of possible tensions and similarities. They will be able to identify methods employed by philosophers when reading original research, and they will be aware of possible problems each of these methods may face.
In writing, they will be able to identify their own methodological commitments, and they will be able to assess which methodology fits which kind of philosophical enterprise.
Sessions and Readings
Papers will be distributed via email in advance. Please note that sessions 4 and 6
require a bit more reading than the rest.
Session 1: Introduction – Basics
-Gottlob Frege on sense, reference, concepts, definitions, and analysis (Quotations
-Kant on analytic judgments (Excerpts from ‘Critique of Pure Reason’)
Session 2: Conceptual Analysis
-Gettier, E.: ‘Is justified true belief knowledge?’
-Grice, P.: ‘Postwar Oxford Philosophy’, Introduction and Section “Objection A”
Session 3: Trouble for conceptual analysis
-Grice, P.: ‘Postwar Oxford Philosophy’, Objection B
-Quine, W.v. O.: ‘Word and Object’ §53
-Black, M: ‘The Paradox of Analysis’
-Frege, G: Quotations from letters.
Session 4: An alternative - explication
-Carnap, R.:Logical Foundations of Probability, §§ 2-3
-Olsson, E.: ‘Gettier and the method of explication: a 60 year old solution to a 50
year old problem’, Sections1, 3-5 [Section 2 contains a summary of Carnap’s methodological considerations]
-Further readings (non-obligatory): Craig, E.‘The Practical Explication of Knowledge’
Session 5: Explication and amelioration
-Haslanger, S.: ‘Gender and Race: (What) Are they? (What) Do we want them to be?’
Sections II and III
Session 6: A critique of explication
-Strawson, P.:‘Carnap’s views on constructed systems versus natural languages in analytic philosophy’
-Further readings (non-obligatory): Carnap, R. ‘P.F. Strawson on Linguistic Naturalism’; Hanna, J.: ‘An explication of ‘explication’’