Balkan Journal of Philosophy

Volume 11, Issue 2, 2019

Martin Zach
Pages 107-124

Conceptual Analysis in the Philosophy of Science

Conceptual analysis as a method of inquiry has long enjoyed popularity in analytic philosophy, including the philosophy of science. In this article I offer a perspective on the ways in which the method of conceptual analysis has been used, and distinguish two broad kinds, namely philosophical and empirical conceptual analysis. In so doing I outline a historical trend in which non-naturalized approaches to conceptual analysis are being replaced by a variety of naturalized approaches. I outline the basic characteristics of these approaches with illustrative examples, arguing that recent developments in the philosophy of science show that in order to achieve a more adequate understanding of scientific endeavour we need to prioritize the naturalized accounts of the method.