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What Even is the Concept / Conception Distinction in Political Philosophy?

Political Theory
Analytic
Methods
Will Bosworth
The London School of Economics & Political Science
Will Bosworth
The London School of Economics & Political Science

Abstract

I don't understand the concept/conception distinction. In this paper, I argue that neither do you. The distinction has had numerous elaborations, from Gallie's thesis of essential contestability, Dworkin's account of interpretative concepts, to Sally Haslanger's social-kinds. I suggest every attempt to distinguish some entity ('the concept') that logically glues all the numerous conceptions together back-fires. The result has been to give undue attention to a wide range of merely verbal disputes in political philosophy.