Higher Seminar in Theoretical Philosophy: Fredrik Österblom "What makes a concept fruitful for inquiry?"

29 november 2022 13:15 till 15:00 Seminarium

Carnap’s  method of explication is the task of replacing, for theoretical reasons, an inadequate concept with a more adequate concept.  More specifically, the new concept, called the explicatum, should be  (i) somewhat similar to the old concept, (ii) exact, (iii) fruitful, and  (iv) as simple as (i-iii) permits. In Carnap’s view, a fruitful (nonlogical) explicatum facilitates the formulation of  new laws. In Carnap’s view, by formulating new laws we facilitate the  two aims of science: prediction and explanation. Recently, several  philosophers who are generally sympathetic to explication as a method have called for revisions of Carnap’s fruitfulness  criterion. While some revisions of the criterion are needed, there is a  problem with these proposed revisions of the criterion. I argue that by  contextualizing the notion of fruitfulness they lose much of the appeal of explication as a philosophical method.

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29 november 2022 13:15 till 15:00

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