X-Phi and the challenge from ad hoc concepts

Michelle Liu

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Ad hoc concepts feature prominently in lexical pragmatics. A speaker can use a word or phrase to communicate an ad hoc concept that is different from the lexically encoded concept and the hearer can construct the intended ad hoc concept pragmatically during utterance comprehension. I argue that some philosophical concepts have origins as ad hoc concepts, and such concepts pose a challenge for experimental philosophy regarding these concepts. To illustrate this, I consider philosophers’ ‘what-it’s-like’-concepts and experimental philosophy of consciousness.
Original languageEnglish
Article number166
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
Issue number5
Early online date3 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2023


  • Original Research
  • Ad hoc concepts
  • What it’s like
  • Lexical pragmatics
  • Consciousness
  • Experimental philosophy


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