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  1. Natural Kinds (Cambridge Elements in Philosophy of Science).Muhammad Ali Khalidi - 2023 - Cambridge University Press.
    Scientists cannot devise theories, construct models, propose explanations, make predictions, or even carry out observations, without first classifying their subject matter. The goal of scientific taxonomy is to come up with classification schemes that conform to nature's own. Another way of putting this is that science aims to devise categories that correspond to 'natural kinds.' The interest in ascertaining the real kinds of things in nature is as old as philosophy itself, but it takes on a different guise when one (...)
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  • Ontological pluralism and social values.Muhammad Ali Khalidi - 2024 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 104 (C):61-67.
    There seems to be an emerging consensus among many philosophers of science that non-epistemic values ought to play a role in the process of scientific reasoning itself. Recently, a number of philosophers have focused on the role of values in scientific classification or taxonomy. Their claim is that a choice of ontology or taxonomic scheme can only be made, or should only be made, by appealing to non-epistemic or social values. In this paper, I take on this “argument from ontological (...)
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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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  • Unity of Science.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2021 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    Unity of science was once a very popular idea among both philosophers and scientists. But it has fallen out of fashion, largely because of its association with reductionism and the challenge from multiple realisation. Pluralism and the disunity of science are the new norm, and higher-level natural kinds and special science laws are considered to have an important role in scientific practice. What kind of reductionism does multiple realisability challenge? What does it take to reduce one phenomenon to another? How (...)
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  • Part-whole science.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2011 - Synthese 178 (3):397-427.
    A scientific explanatory project, part-whole explanation, and a kind of science, part-whole science are premised on identifying, investigating, and using parts and wholes. In the biological sciences, mechanistic, structuralist, and historical explanations are part-whole explanations. Each expresses different norms, explananda, and aims. Each is associated with a distinct partitioning frame for abstracting kinds of parts. These three explanatory projects can be complemented in order to provide an integrative vision of the whole system, as is shown for a detailed case study: (...)
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  • Character analysis in cladistics: Abstraction, reification, and the search for objectivity.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2009 - Acta Biotheoretica 57 (1-2):129-162.
    The dangers of character reification for cladistic inference are explored. The identification and analysis of characters always involves theory-laden abstraction—there is no theory-free “view from nowhere.” Given theory-ladenness, and given a real world with actual objects and processes, how can we separate robustly real biological characters from uncritically reified characters? One way to avoid reification is through the employment of objectivity criteria that give us good methods for identifying robust primary homology statements. I identify six such criteria and explore each (...)
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  • Are Acids Natural Kinds?Pieter Thyssen - forthcoming - Foundations of Chemistry:1-29.
    Are acids natural kinds? Or are they merely relevant kinds? Although acidity has been one of the oldest and most important concepts in chemistry, surprisingly little ink has been spilled on the natural kind question. I approach the question from the perspective of microstructural essentialism. After explaining why both Brønsted acids and Lewis acids are considered functional kinds, I address the challenges of multiple realization and multiple determination. Contra Manafu and Hendry, I argue that the stereotypical properties of acids are (...)
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  • The absent body in psychiatric diagnosis, treatment, and research.Catherine Stinson - 2019 - Synthese 196 (6).
    Discussions of psychiatric nosology focus on a few popular examples of disorders, and on the validity of diagnostic criteria. Looking at Anorexia Nervosa, an example rarely mentioned in this literature, reveals a new problem: the DSM has a strict taxonomic structure, which assumes that disorders can only be located on one branch. This taxonomic assumption fails to fit the domain of psychopathology, resulting in obfuscation of cross-category connections. Poor outcomes for treatment of Anorexia may be due to it being pigeonholed (...)
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  • From Implausible Artificial Neurons to Idealized Cognitive Models: Rebooting Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence.Catherine Stinson - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (4):590-611.
    There is a vast literature within philosophy of mind that focuses on artificial intelligence, but hardly mentions methodological questions. There is also a growing body of work in philosophy of science about modeling methodology that hardly mentions examples from cognitive science. Here these discussions are connected. Insights developed in the philosophy of science literature about the importance of idealization provide a way of understanding the neural implausibility of connectionist networks. Insights from neurocognitive science illuminate how relevant similarities between models and (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • Thomas Kuhn’s Philosophy of Language.Paulo Pirozelli - 2020 - Trans/Form/Ação 43 (spe):345-372.
    Thomas Kuhn is mostly known for his contributions to the philosophy of science. However, it was chiefly to investigations in philosophy of language that he dedicated the last part of his career. The aim of this paper is to present a systematic view of Kuhn’s main ideas on this subject. I start by describing his theory of concept, in particular what he says about kind terms. Such terms, acquired in blocks that form contrast sets or “taxonomies,” are learned through ostensible (...)
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  • ‘Surabhi Candanam’: the First Acquaintance of Fragrant Sandal: a Problem.Mainak Pal - forthcoming - Sophia:1-36.
    Sometimes seeing sandal from non-smellable distance we obtain cognition in the form ‘surabhi candanam’ (that sandal out there is fragrant). According to the Naiyāyikas, this cognition is a single qualified visual perception, where fragrance is grasped by visual sense-faculty. Normally visual sense cannot grasp fragrance. But here fragrance is grasped by visual sense through an extraordinary sense-connection. The Nyāya holds that the memory of fragrance, working as cognition-induced extraordinary sensory connection (jñānalakṣaṇa alaukika sannikarṣa), connects its object, fragrance, with visual sense. (...)
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  • A Rosa multiflora by Any Other Name: Taxonomic Incommensurability and Scientific Kinds.Jeffrey K. McDonough - 2003 - Synthese 136 (3):337-358.
    The following paper attempts to explore, criticizeand develop Thomas Kuhn's mostmature – and surprisingly neglected – view ofincommensurability. More specifically, itfocuses on (1) undermining an influential picture ofscientific kinds that lies at the heartof Kuhn's understanding of taxonomic incommensurability;(2) sketching an alternativepicture of scientific kinds that takes advantage ofKuhn's partially developed theory ofdisciplinary matrices; and (3) using these two resultsto motivate revisions to Kuhn'stheory of taxonomic incompatibility, as well as, tothe purported bridge betweentaxonomic incompatibility and some of the traditionalproblems associated (...)
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  • Challenging the Mechanistic View of Integration in Psychiatry.Caterina Marchionni - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
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  • Beyond categorical definitions of life: a data-driven approach to assessing lifeness.Christophe Malaterre & Jean-François Chartier - 2019 - Synthese 198 (5):4543-4572.
    The concept of “life” certainly is of some use to distinguish birds and beavers from water and stones. This pragmatic usefulness has led to its construal as a categorical predicate that can sift out living entities from non-living ones depending on their possessing specific properties—reproduction, metabolism, evolvability etc. In this paper, we argue against this binary construal of life. Using text-mining methods across over 30,000 scientific articles, we defend instead a degrees-of-life view and show how these methods can contribute to (...)
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  • Some problems for Lowe's four-category ontology.Max Kistler - 2004 - Analysis 64 (2):146–151.
    In E.J. Lowe's ontology, (individual) objects are property-bearers which 1) have identity and 2) are countable. This makes it possible to become or cease to be an object, by beginning or ceasing to fulfil one of these conditions. But the possibility of switching fundamental ontological categories should be excluded. Furthermore, Lowe does not show that “quasi-individuals” (which are not countable) can exist. I argue against Lowe that kinds cannot be property-bearers in a more genuine sense than properties, that they are (...)
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  • How Scientific Is Scientific Essentialism?Muhammad Ali Khalidi - 2009 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 40 (1):85-101.
    Scientific essentialism holds that: (1) each scientific kind is associated with the same set of properties in every possible world; and (2) every individual member of a scientific kind belongs to that kind in every possible world in which it exists. Recently, Ellis (Scientific essentialism, 2001 ; The philosophy of nature 2002 ) has provided the most sustained defense of scientific essentialism, though he does not clearly distinguish these two claims. In this paper, I argue that both claims face a (...)
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  • Innateness and Domain Specificity.Muhammad Ali Khalidi - 2001 - Philosophical Studies 105 (2):191-210.
    There is a widespread assumption in cognitive science that there is anintrinsic link between the phenomena of innateness and domain specificity. Many authors seem to hold that given the properties of these two phenomena, it follows that innate mental states are domain-specific, or that domain-specific states are innate. My aim in this paper is to argue that there are no convincing grounds for asserting either claim. After introducing the notions of innateness and domain specificity, I consider some possible arguments for (...)
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  • Against functional reductionism in cognitive science.Muhammad Ali Khalidi - 2005 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 19 (3):319 – 333.
    Functional reductionism concerning mental properties has recently been advocated by Jaegwon Kim in order to solve the problem of the 'causal exclusion' of the mental. Adopting a reductionist strategy first proposed by David Lewis, he regards psychological properties as being 'higher-order' properties functionally defined over 'lower-order' properties, which are causally efficacious. Though functional reductionism is compatible with the multiple realizability of psychological properties, it is blocked if psychological properties are subdivided or crosscut by neurophysiological properties. I argue that there is (...)
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  • Structure, scale and emergence.Robin Findlay Hendry - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 85:44-53.
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  • Structure as Abstraction.Robin Findlay Hendry - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (5):1070-1081.
    In this article I argue that structure in chemistry is a creature of abstraction: attending selectively to structural similarities, we neglect differences. There are different ways to abstract, so abstraction is interest dependent. So is structure. First, there are two different and mutually irreducible notions of structure in chemistry: bond structure and geometrical structure. Second, structure is relative to scale : the same substance has different structures at different scales, and relationships of structural sameness and difference vary across the scales. (...)
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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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  • Brook Ziporyn: Ironies of oneness and difference: coherence in early Chinese thought: prolegomena to the study of li 灆: Albany: State University of New York Press, 2012, x + 323 pages, $85. [REVIEW]Paul R. Goldin - 2013 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 74 (2):243-247.
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  • How Can Theories Represent Social Phenomena?Jan A. Fuhse - 2022 - Sociological Theory 40 (2):99-123.
    Discussions in sociological theory often focus on ontological questions on the nature of social reality. Against the underlying epistemological realism, I argue for a constructivist notion of theory: Theories are webs of concepts that we use to guide empirical observations and to make sense of them. We cannot know the real features of the social world, only what our theoretical perspectives make us see. Theories therefore represent social phenomena by highlighting certain features and relating them in a logical system. In (...)
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  • 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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  • The notorious neurophilosophy of pain: A family resemblance approach to idiosyncrasy and generalizability.Sabrina Coninx - 2021 - Mind and Language 38 (1):178-197.
    Pain continues to be one of the most controversial subjects in neurophilosophy. One focus of current debates is the apparent absence of an ideal brain‐based biomarker that could function as a coherent and distinct indicator for pain. One prominent reaction to this in the philosophical literature is scientific pain eliminativism. In this article, I argue for a non‐eliminative alternative that builds on family resemblances and provides a useful heuristic in the tradeoff between the idiosyncrasy of the neural processes corresponding to (...)
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  • There are Kinds and Kinds of Kinds: Ben-Yami on the Semantics of Kind Terms.G. Contessa - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 136 (2):217-248.
    Hanoch Ben-Yami has argued that the theory of the semantics of natural kind terms proposed by Kripke and Putnam is false and has proposed an allegedly novel account of the semantics of kind terms. In this article, I critically examine Ben-Yami’s arguments. I will argue that Ben-Yami’s objections do not show that Kripke and Putnam’s theory is false, but at most that the specific versions of it held by Kripke and Putnam have some weaknesses. Moreover, I will argue that Ben-Yami’s (...)
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  • Last Chance Saloons for Natural Kind Realism.Anjan Chakravartty - 2023 - American Philosophical Quarterly 60 (1):63-81.
    Traditionally, accounts of natural kinds have run the gamut from strongly conventionalist to strongly realist views. Recently, however, there has been a significant shift toward more conventionalist-sounding positions, even (perhaps especially) among philosophers interested in scientific classification. The impetus for this is a trend toward making anthropocentric features of categories, namely, capacities to facilitate human epistemic (and other) interests via inductive inference, central to an account of kinds. I argue that taking these features seriously is both defensible and compatible with (...)
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  • Same-tracking real kinds in the social sciences.Theodore Bach - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-26.
    The kinds of real or natural kinds that support explanation and prediction in the social sciences are difficult to identify and track because they change through time, intersect with one another, and they do not always exhibit their properties when one encounters them. As a result, conceptual practices directed at these kinds will often refer in ways that are partial, equivocal, or redundant. To improve this epistemic situation, it is important to employ open-ended classificatory concepts, to understand when different research (...)
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  • Superdupersizing the mind: Extended cognition and the persistence of cognitive bloat.Sean Allen-Hermanson - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (3):791-806.
    Extended Cognition (EC) hypothesizes that there are parts of the world outside the head serving as cognitive vehicles. One criticism of this controversial view is the problem of “cognitive bloat” which says that EC is too permissive and fails to provide an adequate necessary criterion for cognition. It cannot, for instance, distinguish genuine cognitive vehicles from mere supports (e.g. the Yellow Pages). In response, Andy Clark and Mark Rowlands have independently suggested that genuine cognitive vehicles are distinguished from supports in (...)
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  • Philosophy in classical India: proper work of reason.Jonardon Ganeri - 2001 - New York: Routledge.
    Original in content and approach, Philosophy in Classical India focuses on the rational principles of Indian philosophical theory, rather than the mysticism usually associated with it. Ganeri explores the philosophical projects of a number of major Indian philosophers and looks into the methods of rational inquiry deployed within these projects. In so doing, he illuminates a network of mutual reference and criticism, influence and response, in which reason is simultaneously used constructively and to call itself into question.
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  • From constitutional necessities to causal necessities.Jessica 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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  • Are Acids Natural Kinds?Pieter Thyssen - manuscript
    Are acids natural kinds? Or are they merely relevant kinds? Although acidity has been one of the oldest and most important concepts in chemistry, surprisingly little ink has been spilled on the natural kind question. I approach the question from the perspective of microstructural essentialism. After explaining why both Brønsted acids and Lewis acids are considered functional kinds, I address the challenges of multiple realization and multiple determination. Contra Manafu and Hendry, I argue that the stereotypical properties of acids are (...)
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  • Cancer.Anya Plutynski - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Cancer—and scientific research on cancer—raises a variety of compelling philosophical questions. This entry will focus on four topics, which philosophers of science have begun to explore and debate. First, scientific classifications of cancer have as yet failed to yield a unified taxonomy. There is a diversity of classificatory schemes for cancer, and while some are hierarchical, others appear to be “cross-cutting,” or non-nested. This literature thus raises a variety of questions about the nature of the disease and disease classification. Second, (...)
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  • The Unity of Science.Jordi Cat - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Natural kinds.Emma Tobin & Alexander Bird - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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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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  • Selection and explanation.Alexander Bird - 2006 - In Rethinking Explanation. Springer. pp. 131--136.
    Selection explanations explain some non-accidental generalizations in virtue of a selection process. Such explanations are not particulaizable - they do not transfer as explanations of the instances of such generalizations. This is unlike many explanations in the physical sciences, where the explanation of the general fact also provides an explanation of its instances (i.e. standard D-N explanations). Are selection explanations (e.g. in biology) therefore a different kind of explanation? I argue that to understand this issue, we need to see that (...)
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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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  • A Theory of Conceptual Advance: Explaining Conceptual Change in Evolutionary, Molecular, and Evolutionary Developmental Biology.Ingo Brigandt - 2006 - Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
    The theory of concepts advanced in the dissertation aims at accounting for a) how a concept makes successful practice possible, and b) how a scientific concept can be subject to rational change in the course of history. Traditional accounts in the philosophy of science have usually studied concepts in terms only of their reference; their concern is to establish a stability of reference in order to address the incommensurability problem. My discussion, in contrast, suggests that each scientific concept consists of (...)
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  • Robustness, Diversity of Evidence, and Probabilistic Independence.Jonah N. Schupbach - 2015 - In Mäki, Ruphy, Schurz & Votsis (eds.), Recent Developments in the Philosophy of Science: EPSA13 Helsinki. Springer. pp. 305-316.
    In robustness analysis, hypotheses are supported to the extent that a result proves robust, and a result is robust to the extent that we detect it in diverse ways. But what precise sense of diversity is at work here? In this paper, I show that the formal explications of evidential diversity most often appealed to in work on robustness – which all draw in one way or another on probabilistic independence – fail to shed light on the notion of diversity (...)
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