Catherine Z. Elgin

Iterative Explication

Abstract: Carnap maintains that explication refines and sharpens everyday concepts, enabling them to perform rigorous philosophical and scientific functions. Building on Carnap and Chang, I argue that conceptual enhancement involves iterative explication. Each step is an improvement on its predecessor and sets the stage fur further conceptual refinement. I draw on familiar examples from the history of philosophy to illustrate the procedure and its benefits.