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  1. Scientific Enquiry and Natural Kinds: From Planets to Mallards.P. D. Magnus - 2012 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    Some scientific categories seem to correspond to genuine features of the world and are indispensable for successful science in some domain; in short, they are natural kinds. This book gives a general account of what it is to be a natural kind and puts the account to work illuminating numerous specific examples.
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  • Philosophy of Psychiatry.Jonathan Y. Tsou - 2021 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    Jonathan Y. Tsou examines and defends positions on central issues in philosophy of psychiatry. The positions defended assume a naturalistic and realist perspective and are framed against skeptical perspectives on biological psychiatry. Issues addressed include the reality of mental disorders; mechanistic and disease explanations of abnormal behavior; definitions of mental disorder; natural and artificial kinds in psychiatry; biological essentialism and the projectability of psychiatric categories; looping effects and the stability of mental disorders; psychiatric classification; and the validity of the DSM's (...)
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  • Perfectionism and Dignity.Pablo Gilabert - 2022 - European Journal of Philosophy 30 (1):259-278.
    Perfectionism about well-being is, at a minimum, the view that people’s lives go well when, and because they realize their capacities. It is common to link perfectionism with an idea of human essence or nature, to yield the view that what constitutes people’s well-being is the development and exercise of characteristically human capacities. The first part of this paper considers the very serious problems associated with the idea of human nature or essence, and argues that perfectionism would be more plausible (...)
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  • The Role of Kinds in the Semantics of Ceteris Paribus Laws.Bernhard Nickel - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S10):1729-1744.
    This paper investigates the interaction between semantic theories for cp-laws (roughly, laws that hold “all things equal”) and metaphysical theories of kinds in the special sciences. Its central conclusion is that cp-laws concerning kinds behave differently from cp-laws concerning non-kinds: “ravens are black” which concerns the kind corvus corax, behaves differently from from “albino ravens are white” which concerns the non-kind grouping of albino ravens. I argue that this difference is in the first instance logical: the two sorts of cp-laws (...)
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  • Why kinship is progeneratively constrained: Extending anthropology.Robert A. Wilson - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-20.
    The conceptualisation of kinship and its study remain contested within anthropology. This paper draws on recent cognitive science, developmental cognitive psychology, and the philosophy of science to offer a novel argument for a view of kinship as progeneratively or reproductively constrained. I shall argue that kinship involves a form of extended cognition that incorporates progenerative facts, going on to show how the resulting articulation of kinship’s progenerative nature can be readily expressed by an influential conception of kinds, the homeostatic property (...)
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  • Philosophy of Stem Cell Biology – an Introduction.Melinda Bonnie Fagan - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (12):1147-1158.
    This review surveys three central issues in philosophy of stem cell biology: the nature of stem cells, stem cell experiments, and explanations of stem cell capacities. First, I argue that the fundamental question ‘what is a stem cell?’ has no single substantive answer. Instead, the core idea is explicated via an abstract model, which accounts for many features of stem cell experiments. The second part of this essay examines several of these features: uncertainty, model organisms, and manipulability. The results shed (...)
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  • Continuing After Species: An Afterword.Robert A. Wilson - 2022 - In John S. Wilkins, Igor Pavlinov & Frank Zachos (eds.), Species Problems and Beyond: Contemporary Issues in Philosophy and Practice. New York: Routledge.
    This afterword to Species and Beyond provides some reflections on species, with special attention to what I think the most significant developments have been in the thinking of biologists and philosophers working on species over the past 25 years, as well as some bad jokes.
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  • Science and Transcendence: Westphal, Derrida, and Responsibility.Nathan Kowalsky - 2012 - Zygon 47 (1):118-139.
    Abstract. On the naive reading, “radical social constructivism” would be the result of “deconstructing” science. Science would simply be a contingent construction in accordance with social determinants. However, postmodernism does not necessarily abandon fidelity to the objects of thought. Merold Westphal's Derridean philosophy of religion emphasizes that even theology need not eliminate the transcendence of the divine other. By drawing an analogy between natural and supernatural transcendence, I argue that science is similarly called to responsibility in the encounter with that (...)
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  • Biological Explanations, Realism, Ontology, and Categories.Matthew J. Barker - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):617-622.
    This is an extended review of John Dupré's _Processes of Life_, a collection of essays. It clarifies Dupré's concepts of reductionism and anti-reductionism, and critically examines his associated discussions of downward causation, and both the context sensitivity and multiple realization of categories. It reviews his naturalistic monism, and critically distinguishes between his realism about categories and constructivism about classification. Challenges to his process ontology are presented, as are arguments for his pluralism about scientific categories. None of his main conclusions are (...)
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  • Eliminative Pluralism and Integrative Alternatives: The Case of Species.Matthew J. Barker - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (3):657-681.
    Pluralisms of various sorts are popular in philosophy of science, including those that imply some scientific concept x should be eliminated from science in favour of a plurality of concepts x1, x2, … xn. This article focuses on influential and representative arguments for such eliminative pluralism about the concept species. The main conclusions are that these arguments fail, that all other extant arguments also fail, and that this reveals a quite general dilemma, one that poses a defeasible presumption against many (...)
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  • Natural Kinds in Philosophy and in the Life Sciences: Scholastic Twilight or New Dawn? [REVIEW]Miles MacLeod & Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (2):89-99.
    This article, which is intended both as a position paper in the philosophical debate on natural kinds and as the guest editorial to this thematic issue, takes up the challenge posed by Ian Hacking in his paper, “Natural Kinds: Rosy Dawn, Scholastic Twilight.” Whereas a straightforward interpretation of that paper suggests that according to Hacking the concept of natural kinds should be abandoned, both in the philosophy of science and in philosophy more generally, we suggest that an alternative and less (...)
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  • Limitations of Natural Kind Talk in the Life Sciences: Homology and Other Cases. [REVIEW]Miles MacLeod - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (2):109-120.
    The aim of this article is to detail some reservations against the beliefs, claims, or presuppositions that current essentialist natural kind concepts (including homeostatic property cluster kinds) model grouping practices in the life sciences accurately and generally. Such concepts fit reasoning into particular preconceived epistemic and semantic patterns. The ability of these patterns to fit scientific practice is often argued in support of homeostatic property cluster accounts, yet there are reasons to think that in the life sciences kind concepts exhibit (...)
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  • Natural Kindness.Matthew H. 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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  • A Puzzle for Social Essences.Michael J. Raven - 2022 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 8 (1):128-148.
    The social world contains institutions, groups, objects, and more. This essay explores a puzzle about the essences of social items. There is widespread consensus against social essences because of problematic presuppositions often made about them. But it is argued that essence can be freed from these presuppositions and their problems. Even so, a puzzle still arises. In a Platonic spirit, essences in general seem detached from the world. In an Aristotelian spirit, social essences in particular seem embedded in the world. (...)
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  • The Dynamical Essence of Powers.Andrea Roselli & Christopher Austin - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):14951-14973.
    Powers are properties defined by what they do. The focus of the large majority of the powers literature has been mainly put on explicating the results of the production of a power in certain initial conditions: but all this causal complexity is bound to be—and, in fact, it has proved to be—quite difficult to handle. In this paper we take a different approach by focusing on the very activity of producing those multifaceted manifestations themselves. In this paper, we propose an (...)
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  • Teleosemantics and Indeterminacy.Manolo Martínez - 2013 - Dialectica 67 (4):427-453.
    In the first part of the paper, I present a framework for the description and evaluation of teleosemantic theories of intentionality, and use it to argue that several different objections to these theories (the various indeterminacy and adequacy problems) are, in a certain precise sense, manifestations of the same underlying issue. I then use the framework to show that Millikan's biosemantics, her own recent declarations to the contrary notwithtanding, presents indeterminacy. In the second part, I develop a novel teleosemantic proposal (...)
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  • What Emotions Really Are (In the Theory of Constructed Emotion).Jeremy Pober - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (4):640-59.
    Recently, Lisa Feldman Barrett and colleagues have introduced the Theory of Constructed Emotions (TCE), in which emotions are constituted by a process of categorizing the self as being in an emotional state. The view, however, has several counterintuitive implications: for instance, a person can have multiple distinct emotions at once. Further, the TCE concludes that emotions are constitutively social phenomena. In this article, I explicate the TCE*, which, while substantially similar to the TCE, makes several distinct claims aimed at avoiding (...)
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  • Letting Go of “Natural Kind”: Toward a Multidimensional Framework of Nonarbitrary Classification.David Ludwig - 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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  • Stable Property Clusters and Their Grounds.Eduardo J. Martinez - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (5):944-955.
    I argue against Matthew Slater’s rejection of what he calls the grounding claim in his stable property cluster account of natural kinds. This claim states that the epistemic value of natural kinds depends on the existence of some ground to bind together a kind’s properties. Using two test cases from academic medicine, I show that grounds are genuinely explanatory of scientific epistemic practices and that the SPC account should not do without them in its philosophical analysis of natural kinds.
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  • Core Affect and Natural Affective Kinds.Andrea Scarantino - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (5):940-957.
    It is commonly assumed that the scientific study of emotions should focus on discrete categories such as fear, anger, sadness, joy, disgust, shame, guilt, and so on. This view has recently been questioned by the emergence of the “core affect movement,” according to which discrete emotions are not natural kinds. Affective science, it is argued, should focus on core affect, a blend of hedonic and arousal values. Here, I argue that the empirical evidence does not support the thesis that core (...)
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  • Clines, Clusters, and Clades in the Race Debate.Matthew Kopec - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (5):1053-1065.
    Although there once was a general consensus among race scholars that applying race categories to humans is biologically illegitimate, this consensus has been erased over the past decade. This is largely due to advances in population genetics that allow biologists to pick out genetic population clusters that approximate some of our common sense racial categories. In this paper, I argue that this new ability really ought not undermine our confidence in the biological illegitimacy of the human races. Unfortunately, the claim (...)
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  • Homeostasis, Higher Taxa, and Monophyly.Richard Boyd - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (5):686-701.
    Several authors have argued that higher taxa are monophyletic homeostatic property cluster natural kinds. On the traditional definition of monophyly, this will not work: the emergence of taxon-defining homeostatic property clusters would not always correspond to unique speciation events. An alternative conception of monophyly is developed and advocated, which can accommodate the homeostatic property cluster proposal. Recent work in philosophy of science shows that it meets appropriate standards of objectivity and precision.
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  • What's Wrong with the New Biological Essentialism.Marc Ereshefsky - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (5):674-685.
    The received view in the philosophy of biology is that biological taxa (species and higher taxa) do not have essences. Recently, some philosophers (Boyd, Devitt, Griffiths, LaPorte, Okasha, and Wilson) have suggested new forms of biological essentialism. They argue that according to these new forms of essentialism, biological taxa do have essences. This article critically evaluates the new biological essentialism. This article’s thesis is that the costs of adopting the new biological essentialism are many, yet the benefits are none, so (...)
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  • Natural Kinds and Naturalised Kantianism.Michela Massimi - 2014 - Noûs 48 (3):416-449.
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  • Plato on Natural Kinds: The Promethean Method of the Philebus.John D. Proios - 2022 - Apeiron 55 (2):305-327.
    Plato’s invention of the metaphor of carving the world by the joints gives him a privileged place in the history of natural kind theory in philosophy and science; he is often understood to present a paradigmatic but antiquated view of natural kinds as possessing eternal, immutable, necessary essences. Yet, I highlight that, as a point of distinction from contemporary views about natural kinds, Plato subscribes to an intelligent-design, teleological framework, in which the natural world is the product of craft and, (...)
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  • Fuzziness in the Mind: Can Perception Be Unconscious?Henry Taylor - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (2):383-398.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • Realism and Lexical Flexibility.Christopher A. Vogel - 2020 - Theoria 86 (2):145-186.
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  • Words, Species, and Kinds.J. T. M. Miller - 2021 - Metaphysics 4 (1):18–31.
    It has been widely argued that words are analogous to species such that words, like species, are natural kinds. In this paper, I consider the metaphysics of word-kinds. After arguing against an essentialist approach, I argue that word-kinds are homeostatic property clusters, in line with the dominant approach to other biological and psychological kinds.
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  • An ontology of weak entity realism for HPC kinds.Reuben Sass - 2021 - Synthese 198 (12):11861-11880.
    This paper defends an ontology of weak entity realism for homeostatic property cluster (HPC) theories of natural kinds, adapted from Bird’s (Synthese 195(4):1397–1426, 2018) taxonomy of such theories. Weak entity realism about HPC kinds accepts the existence of natural kinds. Weak entity realism denies two theses: that (1) HPC kinds have mind-independent essences, and that (2) HPC kinds reduce to entities, such as complex universals, posited only by metaphysical theories. Strong entity realism accepts (1) and (2), whereas moderate entity realism (...)
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  • Dealing with the Changeable and Blurry Edges of Living Things: A Modified Version of Property-Cluster Kinds.María J. Ferreira Ruiz & Jon Umerez - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (3):493-518.
    Despite many attempts to achieve an adequate definition of living systems by means of a set of necessary and sufficient conditions, the opinion that such an enterprise is inexorably destined to fail is increasingly gaining support. However, we believe options do not just come down to either having faith in a future success or endorsing skepticism. In this paper, we aim to redirect the discussion of the problem by shifting the focus of attention from strict definitions towards a philosophical framework (...)
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  • Art and Science: A Philosophical Sketch of Their Historical Complexity and Codependence.Nicolas J. Bullot, William P. Seeley & Stephen Davies - 2017 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 75 (4):453-463.
    To analyze the relations between art and science, philosophers and historians have developed different lines of inquiry. A first type of inquiry considers how artistic and scientific practices have interacted over human history. Another project aims to determine the contributions that scientific research can make to our understanding of art, including the contributions that cognitive science can make to philosophical questions about the nature of art. We rely on contributions made to these projects in order to demonstrate that art and (...)
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  • Rethinking Cohesion and Species Individuality.Celso Neto - 2016 - Biological Theory 11 (3):01-12.
    According to the species-as-individuals thesis(hereafter S-A-I), species are cohesive entities. Barker and Wilson recently pointed out that the type of cohesion exhibited by species is fundamentally different from that of organisms (paradigmatic individuals), suggesting that species are homeostatic property cluster kinds. In this article, I propose a shift in how to approach cohesion in the context of S-A-I: instead of analyzing the different types of cohesion and questioning whether species have them, I focus on the role played by cohesion in (...)
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  • Species Are, at the Same Time, Kinds and Individuals: A Causal Argument Based on an Empirical Approach to Species Identity.Elena Casetta & Davide Vecchi - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 12):3007-3025.
    After having reconstructed a minimal biological characterisation of species, we endorse an “empirical approach” based on the idea that it is the peculiar evolutionary history of the species at issue—its peculiar origination process, its peculiar metapopulation structure and the peculiar mixture and strength of homeostatic processes vis à vis heterostatic ones—that determines species’ identity at a time and through time. We then explore the consequences of the acceptance of the empirical approach in settling the individuals versus kinds dispute. In particular, (...)
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  • The Species Category as a Scientific Kind.Caleb C. Hazelwood - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 12):3027-3040.
    Marc Ereshefsky’s project of eliminative pluralism holds that, as there is no unifying feature among all species concepts, we ought to doubt the existence of the species category. Here, I argue that one promising strategy for saving the species category is to reframe it as a natural kind after the practice turn. I suggest situating the species category within a recent account of natural kinds proposed by Marc Ereshefsky and Thomas Reydon called “scientific kinds”. Scientific kinds highlight ontological boundaries. More (...)
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  • Rethinking Natural Kinds, Reference and Truth: Towards More Correspondence with Reality, Not Less.Richard Boyd - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 12):2863-2903.
    Recent challenges to non-traditional theories of natural kinds demand clarifications and revisions to those theories. Highlights: The semantics of natural kind terms is a special case of a general naturalistic conception of signaling in organisms that explains the epistemic reliability of signaling. Natural kinds and reference are two aspects of the same natural phenomenon. Natural kind definitions are phenomena in nature not linguistic or representational entities; their relation to conceptualized definitions is complex. Reference and truth are special cases of a (...)
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  • Kinds Behaving Badly: Intentional Action and Interactive Kinds.Sophie R. Allen - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 12):2927-2956.
    This paper investigates interactive kinds, a class of kinds suggested by Ian Hacking for which classification generates a feedback loop between the classifiers and what is classified, and argues that human interactive kinds should be distinguished from non-human ones. First, I challenge the claim that there is nothing ontologically special about interactive kinds in virtue of their members being classified as such. To do so, I reject Cooper’s counterexample to Hacking’s thesis that kind descriptions are necessary for intentional action, arguing (...)
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  • No Purely Epistemic Theory Can Account for the Naturalness of Kinds.Olivier Lemeire - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 12):2907-2925.
    Several philosophers have recently tried to define natural kinds in epistemic terms only. Given the persistent problems with finding a successful metaphysical theory, these philosophers argue that we would do better to describe natural kinds solely in terms of their epistemic usefulness, such as their role in supporting inductive inferences. In this paper, I argue against these epistemology-only theories of natural kinds and in favor of, at least partly, metaphysical theories. I do so in three steps. In the first section (...)
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  • Eschewing Entities: Outlining a Biology Based Form of Structural Realism.Steven French - 2013 - In Vassilios Karakostas & Dennis Dieks (eds.), Epsa11 Perspectives and Foundational Problems in Philosophy of Science. Springer. pp. 371--381.
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  • Population Thinking as Trope Nominalism.Bence Nanay - 2010 - Synthese 177 (1):91 - 109.
    The concept of population thinking was introduced by Ernst Mayr as the right way of thinking about the biological domain, but it is difficult to find an interpretation of this notion that is both unproblematic and does the theoretical work it was intended to do. I argue that, properly conceived, Mayr’s population thinking is a version of trope nominalism: the view that biological property-types do not exist or at least they play no explanatory role. Further, although population thinking has been (...)
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  • Darwin’s Solution to the Species Problem.Marc Ereshefsky - 2010 - Synthese 175 (3):405 - 425.
    Biologists and philosophers that debate the existence of the species category fall into two camps. Some believe that the species category does not exist and the term 'species' should be eliminated from biology. Others believe that with new biological insights or the application of philosophical ideas, we can be confident that the species category exists. This paper offers a different approach to the species problem. We should be skeptical of the species category, but not skeptical of the existence of those (...)
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  • Engineering Differences Between Natural, Social, and Artificial Kinds.Eric T. Kerr - 2013 - In Maarten Franssen, Peter Kroes, Pieter Vermaas & Thomas A. C. Reydon (eds.), Artefact Kinds: Ontology and the Human-made World. Synthese Library.
    My starting point is that discussions in philosophy about the ontology of technical artifacts ought to be informed by classificatory practices in engineering. Hence, the heuristic value of the natural-artificial distinction in engineering counts against arguments which favour abandoning the distinction in metaphysics. In this chapter, I present the philosophical equipment needed to analyse classificatory practices and then present a case study of engineering practice using these theoretical tools. More in particular, I make use of the Collectivist Account of Technical (...)
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  • Naturalizing Kinds.Muhammad Ali Khalidi - 2013 - In Bana Bashour Hans Muller (ed.), Contemporary Philosophical Naturalism and its Implications. Routledge. pp. 115.
    Naturalism about natural kinds is the view that they are none other than the kinds discoverable by science. This thesis is in tension with what is perhaps the dominant contemporary view of natural kinds: essentialism. According to essentialism, natural kinds constitute a small subset of our scientific categories, namely those definable in terms of intrinsic, microphysical properties, which are possessed necessarily rather than contingently by their bearers. Though essentialism may appear compatible with naturalism, and is indeed sometimes qualified with the (...)
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  • Contemporary Naturalism and Human Ontology.Eric Charmetant - 2011 - Forum Philosophicum: International Journal for Philosophy 16 (1):59-72.
    Contemporary naturalism, especially through ethology, neuroscience and cognitive science, challenges the traditional ontological points of reference for determining the specificity of human beings. After illustrating the full measure of this upheaval, I will show the inadequacy of a return to traditional essentialism and will then defend the relevance of a different type of essentialism: an approach to human specificity in terms of a homeostatic property cluster.
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  • Music Pluralism, Music Realism, and Music Archaeology.Anton Killin - 2021 - Topoi 40 (1):261-272.
    According to pluralism about some concept, there are multiple non-equivalent, legitimate concepts pertaining to the ontological category in question. It is an open question whether conceptual pluralism implies anti-realism about that category. In this article, I argue that at least for the case of music, it does not. To undermine the application of an influential move from pluralism to anti-realism, then, I provide an argument in support of indifference realism about music, by appeal to music archaeological research, via an analogy (...)
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  • Free Actions as a Natural Kind.Oisín Deery - 2021 - Synthese 198 (1):823-843.
    Do we have free will? Understanding free will as the ability to act freely, and free actions as exercises of this ability, I maintain that the default answer to this question is “yes.” I maintain that free actions are a natural kind, by relying on the influential idea that kinds are homeostatic property clusters. The resulting position builds on the view that agents are a natural kind and yields an attractive alternative to recent revisionist accounts of free action. My view (...)
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  • How to Define Emotions Scientifically.Andrea Scarantino - 2012 - Emotion Review 4 (4):358-368.
    The central contention of this article is that the classificatory scheme of contemporary affective science, with its traditional categories of emotion, anger, fear, and so on, is no longer suitable to the needs of affective science. Unlike psychological constructionists, who have urged the transition from a discrete to a dimensional approach in the study of affective phenomena, I argue that we can stick to a discrete approach as long as we accept that traditional emotion categories will have to be transformed (...)
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  • Social Construction, HPC Kinds, and the Projectability of Human Categories.Jonathan Y. Tsou - 2020 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 50 (2):115-137.
    This paper addresses the question of how human science categories yield projectable inferences by critically examining Ron Mallon’s ‘social role’ account of human kinds. Mallon contends that human categories are projectable when a social role produces a homeostatic property cluster (HPC) kind. On this account, human categories are projectable when various social mechanisms stabilize and entrench those categories. Mallon’s analysis obscures a distinction between transitory and robust projectable inferences. I argue that the social kinds discussed by Mallon yield the former, (...)
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  • Representing and Coordinating Ethnobiological Knowledge.Daniel A. Weiskopf - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 84:101328.
    Indigenous peoples possess enormously rich and articulated knowledge of the natural world. A major goal of research in anthropology and ethnobiology as well as ecology, conservation biology, and development studies is to find ways of integrating this knowledge with that produced by academic and other institutionalized scientific communities. Here I present a challenge to this integration project. I argue, by reference to ethnographic and cross-cultural psychological studies, that the models of the world developed within specialized academic disciplines do not map (...)
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  • How to Philosophically Tackle Kinds Without Talking About ‘Natural Kinds’.Ingo Brigandt - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy.
    Recent rival attempts in the philosophy of science to put forward a general theory of the properties that all (and only) natural kinds across the sciences possess may have proven to be futile. Instead, I develop a general methodological framework for how to philosophically study kinds. Any kind has to be investigated and articulated together with the human aims that motivate referring to this kind, where different kinds in the same scientific domain can answer to different concrete aims. My core (...)
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  • Complexity begets crosscutting, dooms hierarchy.Joyce C. Havstad - 2021 - Synthese 198 (8):7665-7696.
    There is a perennial philosophical dream of a certain natural order for the natural kinds. The name of this dream is ‘the hierarchy requirement’. According to this postulate, proper natural kinds form a taxonomy which is both unique and traditional. Here I demonstrate that complex scientific objects exist: objects which generate different systems of scientific classification, produce myriad legitimate alternatives amongst the nonetheless still natural kinds, and make the hierarchical dream impossible to realize, except at absurdly great cost. Philosophical hopes (...)
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