Revisionary analysis without meaning change (or, could women be analytically oppressed?)

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This chapter develops a conception of philosophical analysis which makes sense of the idea that a correct analysis can be revisionary (in that it departs from ordinary or expert belief and linguistic usage). The view is superior to the alternatives defended by most proponents of ‘conceptual ethics’ and ‘conceptual engineering’ (according to which revisionary theorizing involves replacing words or concepts) because it better explains the arguments we advance when we engage with proposed revisionary analyses. A key idea is that analytic claims can emerge in the course of debate without change of meaning, so that our acceptance (perhaps late in the debate) of some analyticity can fix the meaning of a word as we used it all along. The discussion focuses on Haslanger’s revisionary analysis of gender.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics
EditorsAlexis Burgess, Herman Cappelen, David Plunkett
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191840418
ISBN (Print)9780198801856
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2020


  • Analysis
  • Revisionary theorizing
  • Metalinguistic negotiation
  • Definition
  • Temporal externalism
  • Metasemantics
  • Analyticity


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