Armchair Philosophy Naturalized

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Lutz, Sebastian
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Carnap suggests that philosophy can be construed as being engaged solely in conceptual engineering. I argue that since many results of the sciences can be construed as stemming from conceptual engineering as well, Carnap’s account of philosophy can be methodologically naturalistic. This is also how he conceived of his account. That the sciences can be construed as relying heavily on conceptual engineering is supported by empirical investigations into scientific methodology, but also by a number of conceptual considerations. I present a new conceptual consideration that generalizes Carnap’s conditions of adequacy for analytic-synthetic distinctions and thus widens the realm in which conceptual engineering can be used to choose analytic sentences. I apply these generalized conditions of adequacy to a recent analysis of scientific theories and defend the relevance of the analytic-synthetic distinction against criticisms by Quine, Demopoulos, and Papineau.