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  1. 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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  • Vividness as a Natural Kind.Uku Tooming & Kengo Miyazono - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):3023-3043.
    Imaginings are often characterized in terms of vividness. However, there is little agreement in the philosophical literature as to what it amounts to and how to even investigate it. In this paper, we propose a natural kind methodology to study vividness and suggest treating it as a homeostatic property cluster with an underlying nature that explains the correlation of properties in that cluster. This approach relies on the empirical research on the vividness of mental imagery and contrasts with those accounts (...)
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  • Whales, Fish and Alaskan Bears: Interest-Relative Taxonomy and Kind Pluralism in Biology.Henry Taylor - 2019 - Synthese 198 (4):3369-3387.
    This paper uses two case studies to explore an interest-relative view of taxonomy and how it complements kind pluralism in biology. First, I consider the ABC island bear, which can be correctly classified into more than one species. I argue that this classificatory pluralism can be explained by reference to the range of alternative explanatory interests in biology. In the second half of the paper, I pursue an interest-relative view of classification more generally. I then apply the resultant view to (...)
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  • Natural Kinds, Mind-Independence, and Unification Principles.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-23.
    There have been many attempts to determine what makes a natural kind real, chief among them is the criterion according to which natural kinds must be mind-independent. But it is difficult to specify this criterion: many supposed natural kinds have an element of mind-dependence. I will argue that the mind-independence criterion is nevertheless a good one, if correctly understood: the mind-independence criterion concerns the unification principles for natural kinds. Unification principles determine how natural kinds unify their properties, and only those (...)
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  • What Kind of Kind is Intelligence?Serpico Davide - 2018 - Philosophical Psychology 31 (2):232-252.
    The model of human intelligence that is most widely adopted derives from psychometrics and behavioral genetics. This standard approach conceives intelligence as a general cognitive ability that is genetically highly heritable and describable using quantitative traits analysis. The paper analyzes intelligence within the debate on natural kinds and contends that the general intelligence conceptualization does not carve psychological nature at its joints. Moreover, I argue that this model assumes an essentialist perspective. As an alternative, I consider an HPC theory of (...)
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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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  • Mental Health, Normativity, and Local Knowledge in Global Perspective.Elena Popa - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 84:101334.
    Approaching mental health on a global scale with particular reference to low- and mid-income countries raises issues concerning the disregard of the local context and values and the imposition of values characteristic of the Global North. Seeking a philosophical viewpoint to surmount these problems, the present paper argues for a value-laden framework for psychiatry with the specific incorporation of value pluralism, particularly in relation to the Global South context, while also emphasizing personal values such as the choice of treatment. In (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Ethnoontology: Ways of World‐Building Across Cultures.David Ludwig & Daniel A. Weiskopf - 2019 - Philosophy Compass (9):1-11.
    This article outlines a program of ethnoontology that brings together empirical research in the ethnosciences with ontological debates in philosophy. First, we survey empirical evidence from heterogeneous cultural contexts and disciplines. Second, we propose a model of cross‐cultural relations between ontologies beyond a simple divide between universalist and relativist models. Third, we argue for an integrative model of ontology building that synthesizes insights from different fields such as biological taxonomy, cognitive science, cultural anthropology, and political ecology. We conclude by arguing (...)
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  • Against the New Metaphysics of Race.David Ludwig - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (2):244-265.
    The aim of this article is to develop an argument against metaphysical debates about the existence of human races. I argue that the ontology of race is underdetermined by both empirical and non-empirical evidence due to a plurality of equally permissible candidate meanings of "race." Furthermore, I argue that this underdetermination leads to a deflationist diagnosis according to #hich disputes about the existence of human races are non-substantive verbal disputes. $hile this diagnosis resembles general deflationist strategies in contemporary metaphysics" I (...)
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  • The Causal Structure of Natural Kinds.Olivier Lemeire - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 85:200-207.
    One primary goal for metaphysical theories of natural kinds is to account for their epistemic fruitfulness. According to cluster theories of natural kinds, this epistemic fruitfulness is grounded in the regular and stable co- occurrence of a broad set of properties. In this paper, I defend the view that such a cluster theory is insufficient to adequately account for the epistemic fruitfulness of kinds. I argue that cluster theories can indeed account for the projectibility of natural kinds, but not for (...)
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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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  • The Medical Model, with a Human Face.Justis Koon - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (12):3747-3770.
    In this paper, I defend a version of the medical model of disability, which defines disability as an enduring biological dysfunction that causes its bearer a significant degree of impairment. We should accept the medical model, I argue, because it succeeds in capturing our judgments about what conditions do and do not qualify as disabilities, because it offers a compelling explanation for what makes a condition count as a disability, and because it justifies why the federal government should spend hundreds (...)
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  • Epistemological Solipsism as a Route to External World Skepticism.Grace Helton - 2021 - Philosophical Perspectives 35 (1):229-250.
    I show that some of the most initially attractive routes of refuting epistemological solipsism face serious obstacles. I also argue that for creatures like ourselves, solipsism is a genuine form of external world skepticism. I suggest that together these claims suggest the following morals: No proposed solution to external world skepticism can succeed which does not also solve the problem of epistemological solipsism. And, more tentatively: In assessing proposed solutions to external world skepticism, epistemologists should explicitly consider whether those solutions (...)
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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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  • Natural Kinds, Mind Independence, and Defeasibility.Marc Ereshefsky - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (5):845-856.
    A standard requirement on natural kinds is that they be mind independent. However, many kinds in the human and social sciences, even the natural sciences, depend on human thought. This article suggests that the mind independence requirement on natural kinds be replaced with the requirement that natural kind classifications be defeasible. The defeasibility requirement does not require that natural kinds be mind independent, so it does not exclude mind dependent scientific kinds from being natural kinds. Furthermore, the defeasibility requirement captures (...)
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  • Against Natural Kind Eliminativism.Stijn Conix & Pei-Shan Chi - 2020 - Synthese 198 (9):8999-9020.
    It has recently been argued that the concept of natural kinds should be eliminated because it does not play a productive theoretical role and even harms philosophical research on scientific classification. We argue that this justification for eliminativism fails because the notion of ‘natural kinds’ plays another epistemic role in philosophical research, namely, it enables fruitful investigation into non-arbitrary classification. It does this in two ways: first, by providing a fruitful investigative entry into scientific classification; and second—as is supported by (...)
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  • How to Philosophically Tackle Kinds Without Talking About ‘Natural Kinds’.Ingo Brigandt - 2022 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 52 (3):356–379.
    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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  • Cladism, Monophyly and Natural Kinds.Sandy C. Boucher - 2022 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 22 (64):39-68.
    Cladism, today the dominant school of systematics in biology, includes a classification component – the view that classification ought to reflect phylogeny only, such that all and only taxa are monophyletic (i.e. consist of an ancestor and all its descendants) - and a metaphysical component – the view that all and only real groups or kinds of organisms are monophyletic. For the most part these are seen as amounting to much the same thing, but I argue they can and should (...)
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  • The Animal Sexes as Historical Explanatory Kinds.Laura Franklin-Hall - 2020 - In Shamik Dasgupta, Ravit Dotan & Brad Weslake (eds.), Current Controversies in Philosophy of Science. Routledge. pp. 177-197.
    Though biologists identify individuals as ‘male’ or ‘female’ across a broad range of animal species, the particular traits exhibited by males and females can vary tremendously. This diversity has led some to conclude that cross-animal sexes (males, or females, of whatever animal species) have “little or no explanatory power” (Dupré 1986: 447) and, thus, are not natural kinds in any traditional sense. This essay will explore considerations for and against this conclusion, ultimately arguing that the animal sexes, properly understood, are (...)
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  • Natural Kinds.Emma Tobin & Alexander Bird - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • How to Be a Realist About Natural Kinds.P. D. Magnus - 2018 - Disputatio 7 (8).
    Although some authors hold that natural kinds are necessarily relative to disciplinary domains, many authors presume that natural kinds must be absolute, categorical features of the reality —often assuming that without even mentioning the alternative. Recognizing both possibilities, one may ask whether the difference especially matters. I argue that it does. Looking at recent arguments about natural kind realism, I argue that we can best make sense of the realism question by thinking of natural kindness as a relation that holds (...)
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  • Scientific Pluralism.Ludwig David & Ruphy Stéphanie - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • 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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  • Classification, Kinds, Taxonomic Stability, and Conceptual Change.Jaipreet Mattu & Jacqueline Anne Sullivan - forthcoming - Aggression and Violent Behavior.
    Scientists represent their world, grouping and organizing phenomena into classes by means of concepts. Philosophers of science have historically been interested in the nature of these concepts, the criteria that inform their application and the nature of the kinds that the concepts individuate. They also have sought to understand whether and how different systems of classification are related and more recently, how investigative practices shape conceptual development and change. Our aim in this paper is to provide a critical overview of (...)
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  • Conceptual Evaluation: Epistemic.Alejandro Pérez Carballo - 2020 - In Alexis Burgess, Herman Cappelen & David Plunkett (eds.), Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 304-332.
    On a view implicitly endorsed by many, a concept is epistemically better than another if and because it does a better job at ‘carving at the joints', or if the property corresponding to it is ‘more natural' than the one corresponding to another. This chapter offers an argument against this seemingly plausible thought, starting from three key observations about the way we use and evaluate concepts from en epistemic perspective: that we look for concepts that play a role in explanations (...)
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  • Više je ipak bolje: Epistemički interesi i prirodne vrste (eng. The more the merrier: Epistemic interests and natural kinds).Mladen Bošnjak & Zdenka Brzović - 2021 - Prolegomena: Journal of Philosophy 20 (2):235-259.
    In this paper, we focus on the propensity toward identifying natural kinds with successful scientific categories in contemporary discussions of natural kinds within the philosophy of science. Success in this case is understood as the fulfillment of epistemic interests or goals in a given field of scientific research. The prevailing view is that, in order to have a theory of natural kinds that successfully captures current scientific practice, the relevant epistemic interests are the current interests of scientists working in a (...)
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  • Mind-Dependent Kinds.Khalidi Muhammad Ali - 2016 - Journal of Social Ontology 2 (2):223-246.
    Many philosophers take mind-independence to be criterial for realism about kinds. This is problematic when it comes to psychological and social kinds, which are unavoidably mind-dependent. But reflection on the case of artificial or synthetic kinds shows that the criterion of mind-independence needs to be qualified in certain ways. However, I argue that none of the usual variants on the criterion of mind-dependence is capable of distinguishing real or natural kinds from non-real kinds. Although there is a way of modifying (...)
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  • The Meta-Explanatory Question.L. R. Franklin-Hall - manuscript
    Philosophical theories of explanation characterize the difference between correct and incorrect explanations. While remaining neutral as to which of these ‘first-order’ theories is right, this paper asks the ‘meta-explanatory’ question: is the difference between correct and incorrect explanation real, i.e., objective or mind-independent? After offering a framework for distinguishing realist from anti-realist views, I sketch three distinct paths to explanatory anti-realism.
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