MODR 1770B Note 8
- Concerned with semantic meaning of concepts
- In conceptual analysis, you’re dealing with interpretive meanings, non-
empirical claims, and in a contextual manner.
- Conceptual claims are problematic because we need to first find the
characteristics of the person, and then see if there are enough characteristics
to compare the two concepts.
- Wittgenstein: concepts are reduced to social factors, in the sense that they’re
meanings given in society: how we use the language socially.
- We don’t want to use dictionaries because concepts keep evolving, and
therefore, in order to capture the variation of meanings, we have to generate
cases and place them in cases to see how we can extract the conceptual
- Concepts are not static things (unless it’s democracy)
o I.e. democracy originated with Greece, however now it’s completely
- Meaning is used, and therefore is contextual.
- In conceptual analysis, we’re not concerned with facts or questions, we’re
- What is a concept?
o Comes from the Latin word “Concipere” and it means a mental
thought or image.
I.e. it’s done to form and apprehend something in your mind.
o Thought, idea or notion that can be expressed in one word or a
o Comes from the Latin word “Analyein” and it’s done to break down
- What is conceptual analysis:
o A tool/method we use to clarify and probe the meaning and usage of
We do so to generate cases to see what they show us.
- Step 1: Model (paradigm) Case: What is “x”?