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A tradition of natural kinds

Philosophical Studies 61 (1-2):109-26 (1991)

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  1. On Chemical Natural Kinds.Eric R. Scerri - 2020 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 51 (3):427-445.
    A critique of LaPorte's views on chemical kinds, like jade and ruby, is presented. More positively, a new slant is provided on the question of whether elements are natural kinds. This is carried out by appeal to the dual nature of elements, a topic that has been debated in the philosophy of chemistry but not in the natural kinds literature. It is claimed that the abstract notion of elements, as opposed to their being simple substances, is relevant to the Kripke–Putnam (...)
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  • Shifting Ontologies, Changing Classifications: Plant Materials From 1700 to 1830.Ursula Klein - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 36 (2):261-329.
    This paper studies European chemists’ shifting ontologies of materials by comparing the ways in which they classified materials. The focus is on plant materials, their different identities, and the changing ways chemists sorted out and ordered plant materials in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The main goals of the paper are to follow the development of plant materials from ordinary, everyday materials and commodities in the early eighteenth century to purified carbon compounds and organic substances familiar only to experts (...)
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  • John Venn's Evolutionary Logic of Chance.Berna Eden Kılıç - 1999 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 30 (4):559-585.
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  • 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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  • The Metaphysics of Natural Kinds.Alexander Bird - 2015 - Synthese 195 (4):1397-1426.
    This paper maps the landscape for a range of views concerning the metaphysics of natural kinds. I consider a range of increasingly ontologically committed views concerning natural kinds and the possible arguments for them. I then ask how these relate to natural kind essentialism, arguing that essentialism requires commitment to kinds as entities. I conclude by examining the homeostatic property cluster view of kinds in the light of the general understanding of kinds developed.
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  • Scientific Kinds.Marc Ereshefsky & Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (4):969-986.
    Richard Boyd’s Homeostatic Property Cluster Theory is becoming the received view of natural kinds in the philosophy of science. However, a problem with HPC Theory is that it neglects many kinds highlighted by scientific classifications while at the same time endorsing kinds rejected by science. In other words, there is a mismatch between HPC kinds and the kinds of science. An adequate account of natural kinds should accurately track the classifications of successful science. We offer an alternative account of natural (...)
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  • A Defence of Pluralism in the Debate About Natural Kinds-Case Studies From the Classification of Celestial Objects.Mauro Murzi - 2007 - Forum Philosophicum: International Journal for Philosophy 12 (2).
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  • In Search of Psychiatric Kinds: Natural Kinds and Natural Classification in Psychiatry.Nicholas Slothouber - unknown
    In recent years both philosophers and scientists have asked whether or not our current kinds of mental disorder—e.g., schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder—are natural kinds; and, moreover, whether or not the search for natural kinds of mental disorder is a realistic desideratum for psychiatry. In this dissertation I clarify the sense in which a kind can be said to be “natural” or “real” and argue that, despite a few notable exceptions, kinds of mental disorder cannot be considered natural kinds. Furthermore, I (...)
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  • Nonreductive Individualism: Part I—Supervenience and Wild Disjunction.R. Keith Sawyer - 2002 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 32 (4):537-559.
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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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  • Psychiatric Disorders Qua Natural Kinds: The Case of the “Apathetic Children”.Marion Godman - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (2):144-152.
    In this article I examine some of the issues involved in taking psychiatric disorders as natural kinds. I begin by introducing a permissive model of natural kind-hood that at least prima facie seems to allow psychiatric disorders to be natural kinds. The model, however, hinges on there in principle being some grounding that is shared by all members of a kind, which explain all or most of the additional shared projectible properties. This leads us to the following question: what grounding (...)
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  • Biological Individuals and Natural Kinds.Olivier Rieppel - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (2):162-169.
    This paper takes a hierarchical approach to the question whether species are individuals or natural kinds. The thesis defended here is that species are spatiotemporally located complex wholes (individuals), that are composed of (i.e., include) causally interdependent parts, which collectively also instantiate a homeostatic property cluster (HPC) natural kind. Species may form open or closed genetic systems that are dynamic in nature, that have fuzzy boundaries due to the processual nature of speciation, that may have leaky boundaries as is manifest (...)
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  • Carving the Mind by its Joints. Natural Kinds and Social Construction in Psychiatry.Samuli Pöyhönen - 2013 - In Talmont-Kaminski K. Milkowski M. (ed.), Regarding the Mind, Naturally: Naturalist Approaches to the Sciences of the Mental. Cambridge Scholars Press. pp. 30-48.
    I propound a mechanistic theory of natural kinds in the human sciences. By examining a culture- bound psychiatric disorder, bulimia nervosa, I illustrate how partially socially constructed phenomena raise a serious challenge to traditional theories of natural kinds. As a solution to the challenge, I show how the mechanistic approach allows us to include real but partly socially sustained phenomena among natural kinds. This is desirable because the theory of natural kinds supplies the human sciences with a clear normative account (...)
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  • Don’T Give Up on Basic Emotions.Andrea Scarantino & Paul Griffiths - 2011 - Emotion Review 3 (4):444-454.
    We argue that there are three coherent, nontrivial notions of basic-ness: conceptual basic-ness, biological basic-ness, and psychological basic-ness. There is considerable evidence for conceptually basic emotion categories (e.g., “anger,” “fear”). These categories do not designate biologically basic emotions, but some forms of anger, fear, and so on that are biologically basic in a sense we will specify. Finally, two notions of psychological basic-ness are distinguished, and the evidence for them is evaluated. The framework we offer acknowledges the force of some (...)
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  • Technological Biology? Things and Kinds in Synthetic Biology.Pablo Schyfter - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (1):29-48.
    Social scientific and humanistic research on synthetic biology has focused quite narrowly on questions of epistemology and ELSI. I suggest that to understand this discipline in its full scope, researchers must turn to the objects of the field—synthetic biological artifacts—and study them as the objects in the making of a science yet to be made. I consider one fundamentally important question: how should we understand the material products of synthetic biology? Practitioners in the field, employing a consistent technological optic in (...)
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  • Stories From the South: A Question of Logic.Susan E. Babbitt - 2005 - Hypatia 20 (3):1-21.
    : In this paper, I argue that stories about difference do not promote critical self and social understanding; rather, on the contrary, it is the way we understand ourselves that makes some stories relevantly different. I discuss the uncritical reception of a story about homosexuality in Cuba, urging attention to generalizations explaining judgments of importance. I suggest that some stories from the South will never be relevant to discussions about human flourishing until we critically examine ideas about freedom and democracy, (...)
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  • Concepts Are Not a Natural Kind.Edouard Machery - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (3):444-467.
    In cognitive psychology, concepts are those data structures that are stored in long-term memory and are used by default in human beings.
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  • Debate acutal sobre los géneros naturales desde una perspectiva lockeana.Alba Amilburu Martínez - 2016 - Agora 35 (2).
    El objetivo del presente trabajo es, por un lado, reivindicar la importancia e influencia del enfoque de Locke para la discusión sobre los géneros naturales y, por otro, mostrar cómo su visión y aportaciones en torno al sistema de clasificación natural resultan de gran utilidad para entender en profundidad la compleja geografía del debate contemporáneo sobre estos géneros. En particular, ofrecemos una interpretación según la cual las concepciones de género natural se comprenden como críticas realistas a la posición que sostiene (...)
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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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  • Are Psychiatric Kinds Real?Helen Beebee & Nigel Sabbarton-Leary - 2010 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 6 (1):11-27.
    The paper considers whether psychiatric kinds can be natural kinds and concludes that they can. This depends, however, on a particular conception of ‘natural kind’. We briefly describe and reject two standard accounts – what we call the ‘stipulative account’ (according to which apparently a priori criteria, such as the possession of intrinsic essences, are laid down for natural kindhood) and the ‘Kripkean account’ (according to which the natural kinds are just those kinds that obey Kripkean semantics). We then rehearse (...)
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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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  • A Note on the Dynamics of Psychiatric Classification.José Eduardo Porcher - 2014 - Minerva - An Internet Journal of Philosophy 18 (1):27-47.
    The question of how psychiatric classifications are made up and to what they refer has attracted the attention of philosophers in recent years. In this paper, I review the claims of authors who discuss psychiatric classification in terms referring both to the philosophical tradition of natural kinds and to the sociological tradition of social constructionism — especially those of Ian Hacking and his critics. I examine both the ontological and the social aspects of what it means for something to be (...)
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  • Complexity Begets Crosscutting, Dooms Hierarchy.Joyce C. Havstad - forthcoming - Synthese:1-32.
    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, Normative Kinds and Human Behavior.Diana Ines Pérez & Lucia Gabriela Ciccia - 2019 - Filosofia Unisinos 20 (3).
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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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  • 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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  • Prácticas Clasificatorias Desde la Filosofía de la Ciencia: Entre Metafísica y Epistemología.Alba Amilburu Martínez - 2019 - Daimon: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 76:125-137.
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  • Methodological Encounters with the Phenomenal Kind.Nicholas Shea - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (2):307-344.
    Block’s well-known distinction between phenomenal consciousness and access consciousness has generated a large philosophical literature about putative conceptual connections between the two. The scientific literature about whether they come apart in any actual cases is rather smaller. Empirical evidence gathered to date has not settled the issue. Some put this down to a fundamental methodological obstacle to the empirical study of the relation between phenomenal consciousness and access consciousness. Block (2007) has drawn attention to the methodological puzzle and attempted to (...)
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  • Why Hacking is Wrong About Human Kinds.Rachel Cooper - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (1):73-85.
    is a term introduced by Ian Hacking to refer to the kinds of people—child abusers, pregnant teenagers, the unemployed—studied by the human sciences. Hacking argues that classifying and describing human kinds results in feedback, which alters the very kinds under study. This feedback results in human kinds having histories totally unlike those of natural kinds (such as gold, electrons and tigers), leading Hacking to conclude that human kinds are radically unlike natural kinds. Here I argue that Hacking's argument fails and (...)
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  • Seventh Quadrennial Fellows Conference of the Center for Philosophy of Science.-Preprint Volume- - unknown
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  • How Biologists Conceptualize Genes: An Empirical Study.Karola Stotz, Paul E. Griffiths & Rob Knight - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 35 (4):647-673.
    Philosophers and historians of biology have argued that genes are conceptualized differently in different fields of biology and that these differences influence both the conduct of research and the interpretation of research by audiences outside the field in which the research was conducted. In this paper we report the results of a questionnaire study of how genes are conceptualized by biological scientists at the University of Sydney, Australia. The results provide tentative support for some hypotheses about conceptual differences between different (...)
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  • 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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  • The Importance of Homology for Biology and Philosophy.Ingo Brigandt & Paul Edmund Griffiths - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (5):633-641.
    Editors' introduction to the special issue on homology (Biology and Philosophy Vol. 22, Issue 5, 2007).
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  • Taxonomy, Ontology, and Natural Kinds.P. 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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  • Researching "The Mind".William Lyons - 2018 - Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia e Psicologia 9 (3):194-207.
    : The first section of this paper outlines the major theme, that “mind” is not the label of something unitary but of a collection of things that can only be revealed by research at three different levels. The first level of enquiry is the account of mind that can be gleaned from what is often referred to as our folk psychology. Even with its limitations, it is an indispensable part of our social interactions. The second section outlines how, with the (...)
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  • The Role of Theory-Constitutive Metaphor in Nursing Science.Jennifer Greenwood & Ann Bonner - 2008 - Nursing Philosophy 9 (3):154-168.
    The current view of theoretical statements in science is that they should be literal and precise; ambiguous and metaphorical statements are useful only as pre-theoretical, exegetical, and heuristic devices and as pedagogical tools. In this paper we argue that this view is mistaken. Literal, precise statements apply to those experiential phenomena which can be defined either conventionally by criterial attribution or by internal atomic constitution. Experiential phenomena which are defined relationally and/or functionally, like nursing, in virtue of their nature, require (...)
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  • Three Levels of Semiosis: Three Kinds of Kinds.F. Alrøe Hugo - 2016 - Cybernetics and Human Knowing 23 (2):23-38.
    In philosophy, there is an as yet unresolved discussion on whether there are different kinds of kinds and what those kinds are. In particular, there is a distinction between indifferent kinds, which are unaffected by observation and representation, and interactive kinds, which respond to being studied in ways that alter the very kinds under study. This is in essence a discussion on ontologies and, I argue, more precisely about ontological levels. The discussion of kinds of kinds can be resolved by (...)
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  • SINBaD Neurosemantics: A Theory of Mental Representation.Dan Ryder - 2004 - Mind and Language 19 (2):211-240.
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  • How to Fix Kind Membership: A Problem for Hpc Theory and a Solution.Thomas Reydon - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (5):724-736.
    Natural kinds are often contrasted with other kinds of scientific kinds, especially functional kinds, because of a presumed categorical difference in explanatory value: supposedly, natural kinds can ground explanations, while other kinds of kinds cannot. I argue against this view of natural kinds by examining a particular type of explanation—mechanistic explanation—and showing that functional kinds do the same work there as traditionally recognized natural kinds are supposed to do in “standard” scientific explanations. Breaking down this categorical distinction between traditional natural (...)
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  • What Kinds of Kind Are the Senses?Brian L. Keeley - unknown
    In Western common sense, one speaks of there being five human senses, a claim apparently challenged by the biological and psychological sciences. Part of this challenge comes in the form of claiming the existence of additional senses. Part of the challenge comes from positing multiple senses where common sense only speaks of one, such as with the fractionation of “touch” into pressure and temperature senses. One conceptual difficulty in thinking about the number and division of senses is that it's not (...)
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  • Del fuoco che non brucia: risposte, riflessioni, ringraziamenti.Achille C. Varzi - 2014 - In Elena Casetta & Valeria Giardino (eds.), Mettere a Fuoco Il Mondo. Conversazioni sulla Filosofia di Achille Varzi (Special Issue of Isonomia – Epistemologica). University of Urbino. pp. 111–153.
    An overview of the way I picture the amorphous world we live in, built around my comments and responses to nine festschrift essays by A. Borghini (on the Fedro metaphor and the art of butchery), F. Calemi (on the predication principle and metalinguistic nominalism), C. Calosi (on the argument from mereological universalism to extensonality), E. Casetta (on the role of “monsters” in the realism/antirealism debate), V. Giardino (on inductive reasoning, spatial representation, and problem solving), P. Graziani (on mereological notation), P. (...)
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  • Hydraulic Society and a “Stupid Little Fish”: Toward a Historical Ontology of Endangerment.Caleb Scoville - 2019 - Theory and Society 48 (1):1-37.
    Endangered species are objects of intense scientific scrutiny and political conflict. This article focuses on the interplay among human-nonhuman relations, knowledge production, and the politics of endangerment. Advancing a historical ontology of endangerment, it highlights the role of transforming the nonhuman world in the coming to be of new objects of environmental knowledge. Such knowledge can provide the basis for credible claims of endangerment, facilitating mobilizations against the very human-nonhuman relations that produced it. An in-depth case study of the delta (...)
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  • Food in the Metaphysical Orders: Gender, Race, and the Family.Andrea Borghini - 2012 - Humana Mente 5 (22).
    By looking at human practices around food, the paper brings novel evidence linking the social constructionist and the naturalist theories of gender, race, and the family, evidence that is based on the analysis of developmental trajectories. The argument rests on two main theoretical claims: unlike evolutionary explanations, developmental trajectories can play a decisive role in exhibiting the biological underpinnings of kinds related to gender, race, and family; food constitutes a point of convergence between constructionist and naturalist perspectives because it embeds (...)
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  • From Constitutional Necessities to Causal Necessities.Jessica M. Wilson - 2010 - In Helen Beebee & Nigel Sabbarton-Leary (eds.), The Semantics and Metaphysics of Natural Kinds. Routledge.
    Humeans and non-Humeans reasonably agree that there may be necessary connections between entities that are identical or merely partly distinct—between, e.g., sets and their individual members, fusions and their individual parts, instances of determinates and determinables, members of certain natural kinds and certain of their intrinsic properties, and (especially among physicalists) certain physical and mental states. Humeans maintain, however, that as per “Hume’s Dictum”, there are no necessary connections between entities that are wholly distinct;1 and in particular, no necessary causal (...)
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  • What the 19th Century Knew About Taxonomy and the 20th Forgot.P. D. Magnus - unknown
    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 19th-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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  • Sculpting the Space of Actions. Explaining Human Action by Integrating Intentions and Mechanisms.Machiel Keestra - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Amsterdam
    How can we explain the intentional nature of an expert’s actions, performed without immediate and conscious control, relying instead on automatic cognitive processes? How can we account for the differences and similarities with a novice’s performance of the same actions? Can a naturalist explanation of intentional expert action be in line with a philosophical concept of intentional action? Answering these and related questions in a positive sense, this dissertation develops a three-step argument. Part I considers different methods of explanations in (...)
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  • Constructing Variables That Support Causal Inference.Stephen E. Fancsali - unknown
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  • Hacking on the Looping Effects of Psychiatric Classifications: What is an Interactive and Indifferent Kind?Jonathan Y. Tsou - 2007 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 21 (3):329 – 344.
    This paper examines Ian Hacking's analysis of the looping effects of psychiatric classifications, focusing on his recent account of interactive and indifferent kinds. After explicating Hacking's distinction between 'interactive kinds' (human kinds) and 'indifferent kinds' (natural kinds), I argue that Hacking cannot claim that there are 'interactive and indifferent kinds,' given the way that he introduces the interactive-indifferent distinction. Hacking is also ambiguous on whether his notion of interactive and indifferent kinds is supposed to offer an account of classifications or (...)
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  • Robert Leslie Ellis and John Stuart Mill on the One and the Many of Frequentism.Berna Kilinç - 2000 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 8 (2):251-274.
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  • Stories From the South: A Question of Logic.Susan E. Babbitt - 2005 - Hypatia 20 (3):1-21.
    In this paper, I argue that stories about difference do not promote critical self and social understanding; rather, on the contrary, it is the way we understand ourselves that makes some stories relevantly different. I discuss the uncritical reception of a story about homosexuality in Cuba, urging attention to generalizations explaining judgments of importance. I suggest that some stories from the South will never be relevant to discussions about human flourishing until we critically examine ideas about freedom and democracy, and (...)
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