Natural Kinds

Edited by Alexander James Bird (King's College London)
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  1. added 2019-01-08
    Introduction: Lessons From the Scientific Butchery.Matthew H. Slater & Andrea Borghini - 2013 - In Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke & Matthew H. Slater (eds.), Carving Nature at its Joints: Natural Kinds in Metaphysics and Science. MIT Press.
    Good chefs know the importance of maintaining sharp knives in the kitchen. What’s their secret? A well-worn Taoist allegory offers some advice. The king asks about his butcher’s impressive knifework. “Ordinary butchers,” he replied “hack their way through the animal. Thus their knife always needs sharpening. My father taught me the Taoist way. I merely lay the knife by the natural openings and let it find its own way through. Thus it never needs sharpening” (Kahn 1995, vii; see also Watson (...)
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  2. added 2018-12-30
    Natural Kindness.Matthew Slater - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (2):375-411.
    Philosophers have long been interested in a series of interrelated questions about natural kinds. What are they? What role do they play in science and metaphysics? How do they contribute to our epistemic projects? What categories count as natural kinds? And so on. Owing, perhaps, to different starting points and emphases, we now have at hand a variety of conceptions of natural kinds—some apparently better suited than others to accommodate a particular sort of inquiry. Even if coherent, this situation isn’t (...)
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  3. added 2018-12-27
    Group Minds and Natural Kinds.Robert D. Rupert - forthcoming - Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies.
    The claim is frequently made that structured collections of individuals who are themselves subjects of mental and cognitive states – such collections as courts, countries, and corporations – can be, and often are, subjects of mental or cognitive states. And, to be clear, advocates for this so-called group-minds hypothesis intend their view to be interpreted literally, not metaphorically. The existing critical literature casts substantial doubt on this view, at least on the assumption that groups are claimed to instantiate the same (...)
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  4. added 2018-11-30
    Scientific Realism with Historical Essences: The Case of Species.Marion Godman - forthcoming - Synthese:1-17.
    Natural kinds, real kinds, or, following J.S Mill simply, Kinds, are thought to be an important asset for scientific realists in the non-fundamental (or “special”) sciences. Essential natures are less in vogue. I show that the realist would do well to couple her Kinds with essential natures in order to strengthen their epistemic and ontological credentials. I argue that these essential natures need not however be intrinsic to the Kind’s members; they may be historical. I concentrate on assessing the merits (...)
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  5. added 2018-07-23
    (2018) Gabriel Vacariu: Very Similar Ideas Between Katherin Koslicki’s Ideas (2008) The Structure of Objects, Oxford University Press) and My Ideas (2002-2005-2006).Gabriel Vacariu - manuscript
    When I read this paragraph about her book: -/- In Form, Matter, Substance, Kathrin Koslicki develops a contemporary defence of the Aristotelian doctrine of hylomorphism. According to this approach, objects are compounds of matter (hule) and form (morphe or eidos) and a living organism is not exhausted by the body, cells, organs, tissue, and the like that compose it. Koslicki argues that a hylomorphic analysis of concrete particular objects is well equipped to compete with alternative approaches when measured against a (...)
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  6. added 2018-06-19
    Induction and Natural Kinds Revisited.Howard Sankey - forthcoming - In Stathis Psillos, Benjamin Hill & Henrik Lagerlund (eds.), Causal Powers in Science: Blending Historical and Conceptual Perspectives. Oxford University Press.
    In ‘Induction and Natural Kinds’, I proposed a solution to the problem of induction according to which our use of inductive inference is reliable because it is grounded in the natural kind structure of the world. When we infer that unobserved members of a kind will have the same properties as observed members of the kind, we are right because all members of the kind possess the same essential properties. The claim that the existence of natural kinds is what grounds (...)
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  7. added 2018-06-19
    Where Do You Get Your Protein? Or: Biochemical Realization.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Biochemical kinds such as proteins pose interesting problems for philosophers of science, as they can be studied from the points of view of both biology and chemistry. The relationship between the biological functions of biochemical kinds and the microstructures that they are related to is the key question. This leads us to a more general discussion about ontological reductionism, microstructuralism, and multiple realization at the biology-chemistry interface. On the face of it, biochemical kinds seem to pose a challenge for ontological (...)
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  8. added 2018-06-05
    Overlapping Ontologies and Indigenous Knowledge. From Integration to Ontological Self-­Determination.David Ludwig - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 59:36-45.
    Current controversies about knowledge integration reflect conflicting ideas of what it means to “take Indigenous knowledge seriously”. While there is increased interest in integrating Indigenous and Western scientific knowledge in various disciplines such as anthropology and ethnobiology, integration projects are often accused of recognizing Indigenous knowledge only insofar as it is useful for Western scientists. The aim of this article is to use tools from philosophy of science to develop a model of both successful integration and integration failures. On the (...)
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  9. added 2018-05-21
    Putting Modal Metaphysics First.Antonella Mallozzi - 2018 - Synthese:1-20.
    I propose that we approach the epistemology of modality by putting modal metaphysics first and, specifically, by investigating the metaphysics of essence. Following a prominent Neo-Aristotelian view, I hold that metaphysical necessity depends on the nature of things, namely their essences. I further clarify that essences are core properties having distinctive superexplanatory powers. In the case of natural kinds, which is my focus in the paper, superexplanatoriness is due to the fact that the essence of a kind is what causes (...)
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  10. added 2018-04-27
    Natural Kinds.Zdenka Brzović - 2018 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    A large part of our exploration of the world consists in categorizing or classifying the objects and processes we encounter, both in scientific and everyday contexts. There are various, perhaps innumerable, ways to sort objects into different kinds or categories, but it is commonly assumed that, among the countless possible types of classifications, one group is privileged. Philosophy refers to such categories as natural kinds. Standard examples of such kinds include fundamental physical particles, chemical elements, and biological species. The term (...)
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  11. added 2018-03-13
    Gender as a Historical Kind: A Tale of Two Genders?Marion Godman - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (3-4):21.
    Is there anything that members of each binary category of gender have in common? Even many non-essentialists find the lack of unity within a gender worrying as it undermines the basis for a common political agenda for women. One promising proposal for achieving unity is by means of a shared historical lineage of cultural reproduction with past binary models of gender. I demonstrate how such an account is likely to take on board different binary and also non-binary systems of gender. (...)
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  12. added 2017-08-29
    Revamping the Metaphysics of Ethnobiological Classification.David Ludwig - 2018 - Current Anthropology 59 (4):415-438.
    Ethnobiology has a long tradition of metaphysical debates about the “naturalness,” “objectivity”, “reality”, and “universality” of classifications. Especially the work of Brent Berlin has been influential in developing a “convergence metaphysics” that explains cross-cultural similarities of knowledge systems through shared recognition of objective discontinuities in nature. Despite its influence on the development of the field, convergence metaphysics has largely fallen out of favor as contemporary ethnobiologists tend to emphasize the locality and diversity of classificatory practices. The aim of this article (...)
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  13. added 2017-08-06
    El principio de semejanza en Hume. Hacia una fundamentación filosófica de los derechos humanos.Mario Edmundo Chávez Tortolero - 2017 - Logos. Revista de Filosofía 129 (1665-8620):151-164.
    En el presente artículo se propone una interpretación del pensamiento de Hume para la comprensión de temas y problemas filosóficos que Hume, en su tiempo, no tuvo en consideración, pero que el día de hoy son relevantes. En primer lugar, se analiza el principio de semejanza y se postula la tesis de la unidad de las percepciones a partir de dicho principio. En segundo lugar, mediante un razonamiento analógico se trata de aplicar la doctrina de las percepciones en Hume para (...)
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  14. added 2017-08-03
    Kind Instantiation and Kind Change - A Problem for Four-Category Ontology.Markku Keinänen & Jani Hakkarainen - 2017 - Studia Neoaristotelica 14 (2):139-165.
    In Lowe’s Four-Category Ontology, instantiation is a basic formal ontological relation between particulars (objects, modes) and their kinds (kinds, attributes). Therefore, instantiation must be considered as a metaphysically necessary relation, which also rules out the metaphysical possibility of kind change. Nevertheless, according to Lowe, objects obtain their identity conditions in a more general level than specific natural kinds, which allows for kind change. There also seems to be actual examples of kind change. The advocate of Four-Category Ontology is obliged to (...)
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  15. added 2017-06-12
    Lewis and His Critics on Putnam´s Paradox.Daniel Dohrn - unknown
    The model-theoretic argument known as Putnam´s paradox threatens our notion of truth with triviality: Almost any world can satisfy almost any theory. Formal argument and intuition are at odds. David Lewis devised a solution according to which the very stucture of the world fixes how it is to be divided into elite classes which determine the reference of any true theory. Three claims are defended: Firstly, Lewis´ proposal must be completed by an account of successful referential intentions. Secondly, contrary to (...)
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  16. added 2017-05-21
    Letting Go of “Natural Kind”: Toward a Multidimensional Framework of Nonarbitrary Classification.Ludwig David - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (1):31-52.
    This article uses the case study of ethnobiological classification to develop a positive and a negative thesis about the state of natural kind debates. On the one hand, I argue that current accounts of natural kinds can be integrated in a multidimensional framework that advances understanding of classificatory practices in ethnobiology. On the other hand, I argue that such a multidimensional framework does not leave any substantial work for the notion “natural kind” and that attempts to formulate a general account (...)
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  17. added 2017-02-25
    Delusion as a Folk Psychological Kind.José Eduardo Porcher - 2016 - Filosofia Unisinos 17 (2):212-226.
    In this paper I discuss the scientific respectability of delusion as a psychiatric category. First, I present the essentialist objection to the natural kindhood of psychiatric categories, as well as non-essentialism about natural kinds as a response to that objection. Second, I present a nuanced classification of kinds of kinds. Third, drawing on the claim that the attribution of delusion relies on a folk psychological underpinning, I present the mind-dependence objection to the natural kind status of delusion. Finally, I argue (...)
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  18. added 2017-01-17
    Anchoring in Ecosystemic Kinds.Matthew H. Slater - 2018 - Synthese 195 (4):1487-1508.
    The world contains many different types of ecosystems. This is something of a commonplace in biology and conservation science. But there has been little attention to the question of whether such ecosystem types enjoy a degree of objectivity—whether they might be natural kinds. I argue that traditional accounts of natural kinds that emphasize nomic or causal–mechanistic dimensions of “kindhood” are ill-equipped to accommodate presumptive ecosystemic kinds. In particular, unlike many other kinds, ecosystemic kinds are “anchored” to the contingent character of (...)
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  19. added 2017-01-14
    Taxonomy, Ontology, and Natural Kinds.P. D. Magnus - 2018 - Synthese 195 (4):1427-1439.
    When we ask what natural kinds are, there are two different things we might have in mind. The first, which I’ll call the taxonomy question, is what distinguishes a category which is a natural kind from an arbitrary class. The second, which I’ll call the ontology question, is what manner of stuff there is that realizes the category. Many philosophers have systematically conflated the two questions. The confusion is exhibited both by essentialists and by philosophers who pose their accounts in (...)
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  20. added 2017-01-14
    Epistemic Categories and Causal Kinds.P. D. Magnus - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 48:263-266.
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  21. added 2016-12-16
    The Classification, Definition, and Ontology of Delusion.José Eduardo Porcher - 2016 - Revista Latinoamericana de Psicopatología Fundamental 19 (1):167-181.
    Although delusion is one of the central concepts of psychopathology, it stills eludes precise conceptualization. In this paper, I present certain basic issues concerning the classification and definition of delusion, as well as its ontological status. By examining these issues, I aim to shed light on the ambiguity of the clinical term ‘delusion’ and its extension, as well as provide clues as to why philosophers are increasingly joining the ranks of psychiatrists, psychologists, and neuroscientists in the effort to come to (...)
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  22. added 2016-11-26
    Individual Consciousness.Roderick Malcolm MacLeod - manuscript
    If there is a plurality of absolutely separate individual conscious existences, corresponding to individual living organisms, then the directly experienced fact that only a particular one of these consciousnesses, one's own, stands out as immediately present, can not be true absolutely, but only relative to some specific context of conditions and qualifications singling out that particular consciousness. But further consideration demonstrates that it is not possible for any such context to be specified. This implies that all conscious existences must ultimately (...)
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  23. added 2016-08-17
    Social Categories Are Natural Kinds, Not Objective Types (and Why It Matters Politically).Theodore Bach - 2016 - Journal of Social Ontology 2 (2):177-201.
    There is growing support for the view that social categories like men and women refer to “objective types” (Haslanger 2000, 2006, 2012; Alcoff 2005). An objective type is a similarity class for which the axis of similarity is an objective rather than nominal or fictional property. Such types are independently real and causally relevant, yet their unity does not derive from an essential property. Given this tandem of features, it is not surprising why empirically-minded researchers interested in fighting oppression and (...)
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  24. added 2016-07-14
    Epicureans and Stoics on Universals.Ada Bronowski - 2013 - In Riccardo Chiaradonna Gabriele Galluzzo (ed.), Universals in Ancient Philosophy. Edizioni della Normale. pp. 255-297.
    Epicureans and Stoics reject the independent existence of the Platonic Ideas. This paper assesses what both schools put forward as substitutes for universals. Both Epicureans and Stoics appeal to an a posteriori mental capacity for generalisation but that is where their shared commitments end. the divergences are mapped out, against a tendency in historiography to assimilate the two strategies, and both theories are then analysed independently.
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  25. added 2016-05-06
    Kant and Natural Kind Terms.Luca Forgione - 2016 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 31 (1):55-72.
    As is well known, the linguistic/philosophical reflection on natural kind terms has undergone a remarkable development in the early seventies with Putnam and Kripke’s essentialist approaches, touching upon different aspects of Kan’s slant. Preliminarily, however, it might be useful to review some of the theoretical stages in Locke and Leibniz’s approaches on natural kind terms in the light of contemporary reflections, to eventually pinpoint Kant’s contribution and see how some commentators have placed it within the theory of direct reference. Starting (...)
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  26. added 2016-01-24
    Natural Kinds, Causes and Domains: Khalidi on How Science Classifies Things.Vincenzo Politi - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 54:132-137.
    Natural Categories and Human Kinds is a recent and timely contribution to current debate on natural kinds. Because of the growing sophistication of this debate, it is necessary to make careful distinctions in order to appreciate the originality of Khalidi’s position. Khalidi’s view on natural kinds is naturalistic: if we want to know what Nature’s joints really are, we should look at the actual carving job carried out by our best scientific practices. Like LaPorte, Khalidi is a fallibilist: our best (...)
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  27. added 2016-01-02
    Memory as a Cognitive Kind: Brains, Remembering Dyads, and Exograms.Samuli Pöyhönen - 2016 - In Catherine Kendig (ed.), Natural Kinds and Classification in Scientific Practice. Routledge. pp. 145-156.
    Theories of natural kinds can be seen to face a twofold task: First, they should provide an ontological account of what kinds of (fundamental) things there are, what exists. The second task is an epistemological one, accounting for the inductive reliability of acceptable scientific concepts. In this chapter I examine whether concepts and categories used in the cognitive sciences should be understood as natural kinds. By using examples from human memory research to illustrate my argument, I critically examine some of (...)
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  28. added 2015-11-20
    Ontological Choices and the Value-Free Ideal.David Ludwig - 2015 - Erkenntnis (6):1-20.
    The aim of this article is to argue that ontological choices in scientific practice undermine common formulations of the value-free ideal in science. First, I argue that the truth values of scientific statements depend on ontological choices. For example, statements about entities such as species, race, memory, intelligence, depression, or obesity are true or false relative to the choice of a biological, psychological, or medical ontology. Second, I show that ontological choices often depend on non-epistemic values. On the basis of (...)
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  29. added 2015-11-19
    Review of Sally Haslanger, Resisting Reality: Social Construction and Social Critique. [REVIEW]Theodore Bach - 2014 - Ethics 124 (3):612-617.
    There has been a significant amount of research, from a variety of disciplines, targeting the nature and political status of human categories such as woman, man, Black, and Latino. The result is a tangle of concepts and distinctions that often obscure more than clarify the subject matter. This incentivizes the creation of fresh terms and distinctions that might disentangle the old, but too often these efforts just add to the snarl. The process iterates, miscommunication becomes standard, and insufficiently vetted concepts (...)
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  30. added 2015-10-14
    Τι είναι η πατρίδα μας; [What is our fatherland?].Vincent C. Müller - 2005 - Cogito 3:8-10.
    Ποια είναι η πατρίδα κάποιων; Ας δούμε το θέμα λίγο σαν πρόβλημα της φιλοσοφίας της γλώσσας: για ένα κατηγόρημα «Άγγλος» «Γάλλος», «Πορτογάλος», «Βέλγος», «Φλαμανδός», πώς να αποφασίσουμε ποια αντικείμενα (ποιοι άνθρωποι) εμπίπτουν σε ποιο κατηγόρημα; Έχουν τελικά νόημα αυτά τα κατηγορήματα; Η χρήση και κατάχρηση αυτών των κατηγορημάτων έχει αποτελέσει μια από τις κυριότερες πηγές δυστυχίας στη διάρκεια των δύο τελευταίων αιώνων και συνεχίζει να είναι στην ημερήσια διάταξη. Συνήθως εμφανίζεται στα πλαίσια αγώνων για την απόκτηση «ελευθερίας» σε αντιπαράθεση με (...)
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  31. added 2015-09-20
    John Stuart Mill on Taxonomy and Natural Kinds.P. D. Magnus - 2015 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 5 (2):269-280.
    The accepted narrative treats John Stuart Mill’s Kinds as the historical prototype for our natural kinds, but Mill actually employs two separate notions: Kinds and natural groups. Considering these, along with the accounts of Mill’s nineteenth-century interlocutors, forces us to recognize two distinct questions. First, what marks a natural kind as worthy of inclusion in taxonomy? Second, what exists in the world that makes a category meet that criterion? Mill’s two notions offer separate answers to the two questions: natural groups (...)
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  32. added 2015-06-16
    Natural Selections. [REVIEW]Ray Scott Percival - 1994 - Nature 371 (6499):666-667.
    How do you put both physicists and biologists on their guard? Answer: propound a philosophical theory that ignores Darwin's demolition of essentialism in species and brands any physicist who denies your theory of natural kinds as an anti-realist. A traditional division in philosophy is between metaphysics (what sorts of things exist) and epistemology (what and how we know). Some think that the core of realism is the metaphysical assumption that there is a world independent of our minds. But this core (...)
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  33. added 2015-05-12
    Towards an Ontology of the Rainbow.Takashi Iida - 2013 - Politics and Society (Central China Normal University) 1 (1):59-84.
    There are some objects of perception that are either too far from us to touch or that cannot be touched at all. Typical examples are the sky and the various phenomena that appear in the sky such as rainbows and sunsets. This paper is concerned with the ontological status of the rainbow. Does it exist when it is not actually perceived? Does it exist even when it is not possibly perceived? My conclusion is that a rainbow is a physical event, (...)
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  34. added 2015-04-27
    Aristotle on Being.George Couvalis - forthcoming - Modern Greek Studies (Australia and New Zealand).
    Aristotle explains existence through postulating essences that are intrinsic and percep- tion independent. I argue that his theory is more plausible than Hume’s and Russell’s theories of existence. Russell modifies Hume’s theory because he wants to allow for the existence of mathematical objects. However, Russell’s theory facilitates a problematic collapse of ontology into epistemology, which has become a feature of much analytic philosophy. This collapse obscures the nature of truth. Aristotle is to be praised for starting with a clear account (...)
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  35. added 2015-03-26
    Natural Kinds and Projectible Predicates.Axel Mueller - 1995 - Sorites 1:13-45.
    The focus of this article is on the pragmatic presuppositions involved in the use of general terms in inductive practices. The main thesis is that the problem of characterizing the assumptions underlying the projection of predicates in inductive practices and the ones underlying the classification of crtain general terms as «natural kind terms» coincide to a good extent. The reason for this, it is argued, is that both classifications, «projectibility» and «natural kind term», are attempts to answer to the same (...)
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  36. added 2015-03-24
    Review: Muhammad Ali Khalidi's Natural Categories and Human Kinds: Classification in the Natural and Social Sciences. [REVIEW]Matthew H. Slater - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (4):1017-1023.
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  37. added 2015-03-17
    Natural Phenomenon Terms.Richard Gray - 2006 - Analysis 66 (2):141–148.
    In lecture III of Naming and Necessity, Kripke extends his claim that names are non-descriptive to natural kind terms, and in so doing includes a brief supporting discussion of terms for natural phenomena, in particular the terms ‘light’ and ‘heat’. Whilst natural kind terms continue to feature centrally in the recent literature, natural phenomenon terms have barely figured. The purpose of the present paper is to show how the apparent similarities between natural kind terms and the natural phenomenon terms on (...)
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  38. added 2015-03-17
    What Are We Talking About? The Semantics and Politics of Social Kinds.Sally Anne Haslanger - 2005 - Hypatia 20 (4):10-26.
    Theorists analyzing the concepts of race and gender disagree over whether the terms refer to natural kinds, social kinds, or nothing at all. The question arises: what do we mean by the terms? It is usually assumed that ordinary intuitions of native speakers are definitive. However, I argue that contemporary semantic externalism can usefully combine with insights from Foucauldian genealogy to challenge mainstream methods of analysis and lend credibility to social constructionist projects.
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  39. added 2015-02-19
    A Trope Nominalist Theory of Natural Kinds.Markku Keinänen - 2015 - In Ghislain Guigon & Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra (eds.), Nominalism about Properties. Routledge. pp. 156-174.
    In this chapter, I present the first systematic trope nominalist approach to natural kinds of objects. It does not identify natural kinds with the structures of mind-independent entities (objects, universals or tropes). Rather, natural kinds are abstractions from natural kind terms and objects belong to a natural kind if they satisfy their mind-independent application conditions. By relying on the trope theory SNT (Keinänen 2011), I show that the trope parts of a simple object determine the kind to which it belongs. (...)
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  40. added 2015-01-11
    Transitional Gradation in the Mind: Rethinking Psychological Kindhood.Cameron Buckner - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (4):1091-1115.
    I here critique the application of the traditional, similarity-based account of natural kinds to debates in psychology. A challenge to such accounts of kindhood—familiar from the study of biological species—is a metaphysical phenomenon that I call ‘transitional gradation’: the systematic progression of slightly modified transitional forms between related candidate kinds. Where such gradation proliferates, it renders the selection of similarity criteria for kinds arbitrary. Reflection on general features of learning—especially on the gradual revision of concepts throughout the acquisition of expertise—shows (...)
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  41. added 2014-11-15
    Indigenous and Scientific Kinds.David Ludwig - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (1).
    The aim of this article is to discuss the relation between indigenous and scientific kinds on the basis of contemporary ethnobiological research. I argue that ethnobiological accounts of taxonomic convergence-divergence patters challenge common philosophical models of the relation between folk concepts and natural kinds. Furthermore, I outline a positive model of taxonomic convergence-divergence patterns that is based on Slater's [2014] notion of “stable property clusters” and Franklin-Hall's [2014] discussion of natural kinds as “categorical bottlenecks.” Finally, I argue that this model (...)
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  42. added 2014-11-12
    Functional Kinds: A Skeptical Look.Cameron Buckner - 2015 - Synthese 192 (12):3915-3942.
    The functionalist approach to kinds has suffered recently due to its association with law-based approaches to induction and explanation. Philosophers of science increasingly view nomological approaches as inappropriate for the special sciences like psychology and biology, which has led to a surge of interest in approaches to natural kinds that are more obviously compatible with mechanistic and model-based methods, especially homeostatic property cluster theory. But can the functionalist approach to kinds be weaned off its dependency on laws? Dan Weiskopf has (...)
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  43. added 2014-09-15
    Empirically-Informed Modal Rationalism.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2017 - In Robert William Fischer & Felipe Leon (eds.), Modal Epistemology After Rationalism. Synthese Library. pp. 29-45.
    In this chapter, it is suggested that our epistemic access to metaphysical modality generally involves rationalist, a priori elements. However, these a priori elements are much more subtle than ‘traditional’ modal rationalism assumes. In fact, some might even question the ‘apriority’ of these elements, but I should stress that I consider a priori and a posteriori elements especially in our modal inquiry to be so deeply intertwined that it is not easy to tell them apart. Supposed metaphysically necessary identity statements (...)
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  44. added 2014-07-17
    How Many Kinds of Glue Hold the Social World Together?Brian Epstein - 2015 - In Mattia Gallotti & John Michael (eds.), Social Ontology and Social Cognition.
    In recent years, theorists have debated how we introduce new social objects and kinds into the world. Searle, for instance, proposes that they are introduced by collective acceptance of a constitutive rule; Millikan and Elder that they are the products of reproduction processes; Thomasson that they result from creator intentions and subsequent intentional reproduction; and so on. In this chapter, I argue against the idea that there is a single generic method or set of requirements for doing so. Instead, there (...)
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  45. added 2014-05-06
    Qu'est-ce qu'une montagne ? [What is a mountain?].Olivier Massin - 2014 - In Olivier Massin & Anne Meylan (eds.), Aristote chez les Helvètes. Ithaque.
    The thesis defended is that at a certain arbitrary level of granularity, mountains have sharp, bona fide boundaries. In reply to arguments advanced by Varzi (2001), Smith & Mark (2001, 2003) I argue that the lower limit of a mountain is neither vague nor fiat. Relying on early works by Cayley (1859), Maxwell (1870) and Jordan (1872), this lower limit consists in the lines of watercourse which are defined as the lines of slope starting at passes. Such lines are metaphysically (...)
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  46. added 2014-05-04
    Natural Kinds as Categorical Bottlenecks.Laura Franklin-Hall - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (4):925-948.
    Both realist and anti-realist accounts of natural kinds possess prima facie virtues: realists can straightforwardly make sense of the apparent objectivity of the natural kinds, and anti-realists, their knowability. This paper formulates a properly anti-realist account designed to capture both merits. In particular, it recommends understanding natural kinds as ‘categorical bottlenecks,’ those categories that not only best serve us, with our idiosyncratic aims and cognitive capacities, but also those of a wide range of alternative agents. By endorsing an ultimately subjective (...)
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  47. added 2014-04-07
    Biochemical Kinds.Jordan Bartol - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (2):axu046.
    Chemical kinds (e.g. gold) are generally treated as having timelessly fixed identities. Biological kinds (e.g. goldfinches) are generally treated as evolved and/or evolving entities. So what kind of kind is a biochemical kind? This paper defends the thesis that biochemical molecules are clustered chemical kinds, some of which–namely, evolutionarily conserved units–are also biological kinds.On this thesis, a number of difficulties that have recently occupied philosophers concerned with proteins and kinds are shown to be resolved or dissolved.
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  48. added 2014-04-02
    More Kinds of Being: A Further Study of Individuation, Identity, and the Logic of Sortal Terms. By E. J. Lowe. [REVIEW]Tuomas E. Tahko - 2013 - Mind 122 (485):302-305.
    Book review of 'More Kinds of Being: A Further Study of Individuation, Identity, and the Logic of Sortal Terms'. By E. J. LOWE.
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  49. added 2014-04-01
    A Multiple Realization Thesis for Natural Kinds.Kevin Lynch - 2012 - European Journal of Philosophy 20 (3):389-406.
    Two important thought-experiments are associated with the work of Hilary Putnam, one designed to establish multiple realizability for mental kinds, the other designed to establish essentialism for natural kinds. Comparing the thought-experiments with each other reveals that the scenarios in both are structurally analogous to each other, though his intuitions in both are greatly at variance, intuitions that have been simultaneously well received. The intuition in the former implies a thesis that prioritizes pre-scientific over scientific indicators for identifying mental kinds (...)
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  50. added 2014-03-29
    On the Abuse of the Necessary a Posteriori.Helen Beebee & Nigel Sabbarton-Leary - 2010 - In Helen Beebee & Nigel Sabbarton-Leary (eds.), The Semantics and Metaphysics of Natural Kinds. New York & London: Routledge. pp. 159--79.
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