Post-truth conceptual engineering

Manuel Gustavo Isaac

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Conceptual engineering is the method for assessing and improving our concepts. Some have recently claimed that the implementation of such method in the form of ameliorative projects is truth-driven and should thus be epistemically constrained, ultimately at least (Simion, Mona. 2018b. “The ‘Should’ in Conceptual Engineering.” Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (8): 914–928; cf. Podosky, Paul-Mikhail Catapang. 2018. “Ideology and Normativity: Constraints on Conceptual Engineering.” Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy, Online first, 1–15. doi:10.1080/0020174X.2018.1562374). This paper challenges that claim on the assumption of a social constructionist analysis of ideologies, and provides an alternative, pragmatic and cognitive framework for determining the legitimacy of ameliorative conceptual projects overall. The upshot is that one should not ameliorate for the sake of truth or knowledge, in the case of ideologies – at least, not primarily.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
Early online date4 Mar 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Mar 2021


  • Health Policy


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