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  1. A Different Kind of Property Cluster Kind.Matthew Slater - unknown
    Richard Boyd has long campaigned for a view of natural kinds he calls the Homeostatic Property Cluster account. This account has been particularly exciting for philosophers of biology unhappy with traditional essentialism about natural kinds and the views that biological kinds are, in one way or another, “historical entities”. Though defenders of HPC kinds have done much to further articulate the view, many questions about the account remain. One pressing question concerns the way in which HPC kinds are supposed to (...)
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  • Constructing Variables That Support Causal Inference.Stephen E. Fancsali - unknown
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Cautious Realism and Middle Range Ontology.P. D. Magnus - 2018 - Metascience 27 (3):365-370.
    Part of a book symposium on Anjan Chakravartty's Scientific ontology: integrating naturalized metaphysics and voluntarist epistemology (Oxford University Press, 2017).
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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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  • ‘On the Different Ways of ‘‘Doing Theory’’ in Biology‘.Massimo Pigliucci - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (4): 287-297.
    ‘‘Theoretical biology’’ is a surprisingly heter- ogeneous field, partly because it encompasses ‘‘doing the- ory’’ across disciplines as diverse as molecular biology, systematics, ecology, and evolutionary biology. Moreover, it is done in a stunning variety of different ways, using anything from formal analytical models to computer sim- ulations, from graphic representations to verbal arguments. In this essay I survey a number of aspects of what it means to do theoretical biology, and how they compare with the allegedly much more restricted (...)
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  • Scientific Realism with Historical Essences: The Case of Species.Marion Godman - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 12):3041-3057.
    Natural kinds, real kinds, or, following J.S Mill simply, Kinds, are thought to be an important asset for scientific realists in the non-fundamental (or “special”) sciences. Essential natures are less in vogue. I show that the realist would do well to couple her Kinds with essential natures in order to strengthen their epistemic and ontological credentials. I argue that these essential natures need not however be intrinsic to the Kind’s members; they may be historical. I concentrate on assessing the merits (...)
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  • Amorphic Kinds: Cluster’s Last Stand?Neil E. Williams - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (1-2):14.
    I raise a puzzle case for “cluster” accounts of natural kinds—the homeostatic property cluster and stable property cluster accounts, especially—on the basis of their expected treatment of the metaphysics of certain disease kinds. Some kinds, I argue, fail to exhibit the co-instantiated property clusters these cluster views take to be constitutive of natural kinds. Some genetic diseases, for example, have archetypical instances with few or none of the pathological processes or symptoms associated with the kind: their instances are typified by (...)
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  • Synergic kinds.Manolo Martínez - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):1931-1946.
    According to the homeostatic property cluster family of accounts, one of the main conditions for groups of properties to count as natural is that these properties be frequently co-instantiated. I argue that this condition is, in fact, not necessary for natural-kindness. Furthermore, even when it is present, the focus on co-occurrence distorts the role natural kinds play in science. Co-occurrence corresponds to what information theorists call redundancy: observing the presence of some of the properties in a frequently co-occurrent cluster makes (...)
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  • Informationally-Connected Property Clusters, and Polymorphism.Manolo Martínez - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (1):99-117.
    I present and defend a novel version of the homeostatic property cluster account of natural kinds. The core of the proposal is a development of the notion of co-occurrence, central to the HPC account, along information-theoretic lines. The resulting theory retains all the appealing features of the original formulation, while increasing its explanatory power, and formal perspicuity. I showcase the theory by applying it to the problem of reconciling the thesis that biological species are natural kinds with the fact that (...)
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  • Natural Kinds and Natural Kind Terms: Myth and Reality.Sören Häggqvist & Åsa Wikforss - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (4):911-933.
    The article examines the role of natural kinds in semantic theorizing, which has largely been conducted in isolation from relevant work in science, metaphysics, and philosophy of science. We argue that the Kripke–Putnam account of natural kind terms, despite recent claims to the contrary, depends on a certain metaphysics of natural kinds; that the metaphysics usually assumed—micro-essentialism—is untenable even in a ‘placeholder’ version; and that the currently popular homeostatic property cluster theory of natural kinds is correct only to an extent (...)
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  • Historical Individuals Like Anas Platyrhynchos and 'Classical Gas'.P. D. Magnus - 2013 - In Christy Mag Uidhir (ed.), Art and Abstract Objects. Oxford University Press. pp. 108.
    In this paper, I explore and defend the idea that musical works are historical individuals. Guy Rohrbaugh (2003) proposes this for works of art in general. Julian Dodd (2007) objects that the whole idea is outré metaphysics, that it is too far beyond the pale to be taken seriously. Their disagreement could be seen as a skirmish in the broader war between revisionists and reactionaries, a conflict about which of metaphysics and art should trump the other when there is a (...)
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  • Transitional Gradation in the Mind: Rethinking Psychological Kindhood.Cameron Buckner - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (4):1091-1115.
    I here critique the application of the traditional, similarity-based account of natural kinds to debates in psychology. A challenge to such accounts of kindhood—familiar from the study of biological species—is a metaphysical phenomenon that I call ‘transitional gradation’: the systematic progression of slightly modified transitional forms between related candidate kinds. Where such gradation proliferates, it renders the selection of similarity criteria for kinds arbitrary. Reflection on general features of learning—especially on the gradual revision of concepts throughout the acquisition of expertise—shows (...)
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  • Amorphic Kinds: Cluster’s Last Stand?Neil E. Williams - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (1 - 2):1-19.
    I raise a puzzle case for “cluster” accounts of natural kinds—the homeostatic property cluster and stable property cluster accounts, especially—on the basis of their expected treatment of the metaphysics of certain disease kinds. Some kinds, I argue, fail to exhibit the co-instantiated property clusters these cluster views take to be constitutive of natural kinds. Some genetic diseases, for example, have archetypical instances with few or none of the pathological processes or symptoms associated with the kind: their instances are typified by (...)
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  • NK≠HPC.P. D. Magnus - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (256):471-477.
    The Homeostatic Property Cluster (HPC) account of natural kinds has become popular since it was proposed by Richard Boyd in the late 1980s. Although it is often taken as a defining natural kinds as such, it is easy enough to see that something's being a natural kind is neither necessary nor sufficient for its being an HPC. This paper argues that it is better not to understand HPCs as defining what it is to be a natural kind but instead as (...)
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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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