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  1. 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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  • 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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  • The Metaphysics of Decoherence.Antonio Vassallo & Davide Romano - 2021 - Erkenntnis:1-23.
    The paper investigates the type of realism that best suits the framework of decoherence taken at face value without postulating a plurality of worlds, or additional hidden variables, or non-unitary dynamical mechanisms. It is argued that this reading of decoherence leads to an extremely radical type of perspectival realism, especially when cosmological decoherence is considered.
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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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  • On Radical Solutions in the Philosophy of Biology: What Does “Individuals Thinking” Actually Solve?Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2019 - Synthese 198 (4):3389-3411.
    The philosophy of biology is witnessing an increasing enthusiasm for what can be called “individuals thinking”. Individuals thinking is a perspective on the metaphysics of biological entities according to which conceiving of them as individuals rather than kinds enables us to expose ongoing metaphysical debates as focusing on the wrong question, and to achieve better accounts of the metaphysics of biological entities. In this paper, I examine two cases of individuals thinking, the claim that species are individuals and the claim (...)
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  • How Science and Semantics Settle the Issue of Natural Kind Essentialism.Christian Nimtz - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (1):149-170.
    Standard arguments for essentialism with respect to natural kinds such as gold, star, water or tiger enlist essentialist principles or essentialist intuitions. I argue that we need neither. All it takes to establish essentialism for the kinds in question are insights from science and semantics. Semantics establishes that natural kind predicates such as “is gold” or “is a star” are paradigm terms whose application conditions are relationally determined, object involving, and actuality dependent. Science assures us that a posteriori hypotheses such (...)
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  • Beefing Up Recipe Realism: Stir a Pinch of Metaphysics Into the Pot.Steven French - unknown
    Recent developments in the scientific realism debate have resulted in a form of ‘exemplar driven’ realism that eschews general ‘recipes’ and instead focuses on the specific, ‘local’ reasons for adopting a realist stance in particular theoretical contexts. Here I suggest that such a move highlights even more sharply the need for the realist to incorporate a health dose of metaphysics in her position, particularly when it comes to the theories associated with modern physics. Turning to another set of recent developments, (...)
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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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  • 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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  • Two Approaches to Natural Kinds.Judith K. Crane - forthcoming - Synthese:1-22.
    Philosophical treatments of natural kinds are embedded in two distinct projects. I call these the philosophy of science approach and the philosophy of language approach. Each is characterized by its own set of philosophical questions, concerns, and assumptions. The kinds studied in the philosophy of science approach are projectible categories that can ground inductive inferences and scientific explanation. The kinds studied in the philosophy of language approach are the referential objects of a special linguistic category—natural kind terms—thought to refer directly. (...)
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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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  • Typology and Natural Kinds in Evo-Devo.Ingo Brigandt - 2021 - In Laura Nuño De La Rosa & Gerd Müller (eds.), Evolutionary Developmental Biology: A Reference Guide. Cham: Springer. pp. 483-493.
    The traditional practice of establishing morphological types and investigating morphological organization has found new support from evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo), especially with respect to the notion of body plans. Despite recurring claims that typology is at odds with evolutionary thinking, evo-devo offers mechanistic explanations of the evolutionary origin, transformation, and evolvability of morphological organization. In parallel, philosophers have developed non-essentialist conceptions of natural kinds that permit kinds to exhibit variation and undergo change. This not only facilitates a construal of species (...)
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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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  • Anchoring in Ecosystemic Kinds.Matthew Slater - 2018 - Synthese 195 (4):1487-1508.
    The world contains many different types of ecosystems. This is something of a commonplace in biology and conservation science. But there has been little attention to the question of whether such ecosystem types enjoy a degree of objectivity—whether they might be natural kinds. I argue that traditional accounts of natural kinds that emphasize nomic or causal–mechanistic dimensions of “kindhood” are ill-equipped to accommodate presumptive ecosystemic kinds. In particular, unlike many other kinds, ecosystemic kinds are “anchored” to the contingent character of (...)
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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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  • Natural Kinds as Nodes in Causal Networks.Muhammad Khalidi - 2018 - Synthese 195 (4):1379-1396.
    In this paper I offer a unified causal account of natural kinds. Using as a starting point the widely held view that natural kind terms or predicates are projectible, I argue that the ontological bases of their projectibility are the causal properties and relations associated with the natural kinds themselves. Natural kinds are not just concatenations of properties but ordered hierarchies of properties, whose instances are related to one another as causes and effects in recurrent causal processes. The resulting account (...)
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  • Ontology and Values Anchor Indigenous and Grey Nomenclatures: A Case Study in Lichen Naming Practices Among the Samí, Sherpa, Scots, and Okanagan.Catherine Kendig - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 84:101340.
    Ethnobotanical research provides ample justification for comparing diverse biological nomenclatures and exploring ways that retain alternative naming practices. However, how (and whether) comparison of nomenclatures is possible remains a subject of discussion. The comparison of diverse nomenclatural practices introduces a suite of epistemic and ontological difficulties and considerations. Different nomenclatures may depend on whether the communities using them rely on formalized naming conventions; cultural or spiritual valuations; or worldviews. Because of this, some argue that the different naming practices may not (...)
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  • The Resemblance Structure of Natural Kinds: A Formal Model for Resemblance Nominalism.Javier Belastegui Lazcano - 2021 - Dissertation, Universidad Del País Vasco
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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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  • Pluto and the 'Planet Problem': Folk Concepts and Natural Kinds in Astronomy.Alisa Bokulich - 2014 - Perspectives on Science 22 (4):464-490.
    The 2006 decision by the International Astronomical Union to strip Pluto of its status as a planet generated considerable uproar not only in scientific circles, but among the lay public as well. After all, how can a vote by 424 scientists in a conference room in Prague undermine what every well-educated second grader knows is a scientific fact? The Pluto controversy provides a new and fertile ground in which to revisit the traditional philosophical problems of natural kinds and scientific change. (...)
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  • What Kind of Is-Ought Gap is There and What Kind Ought There Be?P. D. Magnus & Jon Mandle - 2017 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 14 (4):373-393.
    Some philosophers think that there is a gap between is and ought which necessarily makes normative enquiry a different kind of thing than empirical science. This position gains support from our ability to explicate our inferential practices in a way that makes it impermissible to move from descriptive premises to a normative conclusion. But we can also explicate them in a way that allows such moves. So there is no categorical answer as to whether there is or is not a (...)
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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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  • No Grist for Mill on Natural Kinds.P. D. Magnus - 2014 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 2 (4).
    According to the standard narrative, natural kind is a technical notion that was introduced by John Stuart Mill in the 1840s and the recent craze for natural kinds, launched by Putnam and Kripke, is a continuation of that tradition. I argue that the standard narrative is mistaken. The Millian tradition of kinds was not particularly influential in the 20th-century, and the Putnam-Kripke revolution did not clearly engage with even the remnants that were left of it. The presently active tradition of (...)
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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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  • How to Philosophically Tackle Kinds Without Talking About ‘Natural Kinds’.Ingo Brigandt - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy:1-24.
    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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  • Metaphysical Underdetermination as a Motivational Device.Steven French - unknown
    The view that quantum particles cannot be regarded as individuals was articulated in the early days of the 'quantum revolution' and became so well-entrenched that French and Krause called it 'the Received View'. However it was subsequently shown that quantum statistics is in fact compatible with a metaphysics of particle individuality, subject to certain caveats. As a consequent it has been claim that there exists a kind of underdetermination of the metaphysics by the physics which in turn has been used (...)
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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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  • Emotions, concepts and the indeterminacy of natural kinds.Henry Taylor - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):2073-2093.
    A central question for philosophical psychology is which mental faculties form natural kinds. There is hot debate over the kind status of faculties as diverse as consciousness, seeing, concepts, emotions, constancy and the senses. In this paper, I take emotions and concepts as my main focus, and argue that questions over the kind status of these faculties are complicated by the undeservedly overlooked fact that natural kinds are indeterminate in certain ways. I will show that indeterminacy issues have led to (...)
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  • An Ideal Disorder? Autism as a Psychiatric Kind.Daniel A. Weiskopf - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (2):175-190.
    In recent decades, attempts to explain autism have been frustrated by the heterogeneous nature of its behavioral symptoms and the underlying genetic, neural, and cognitive mechanisms that produce them. This has led some to propose eliminating the category altogether. The eliminativist inference relies on a conception of psychiatric categories as kinds defined by their underlying mechanistic structure. I review the evidence for eliminativism and propose an alternative model of the family of autisms. On this account, autism is a network category (...)
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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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  • Problem klasifikacije u filozofiji psihijatrije : slučaj psihopatije (Eng. The Problem of Classification in the Philosophy of Psychiatry: The Case of Psychopathy).Zdenka Brzović, Jelena Hodak, Luca Malatesti, Vesna Šendula-Jengić & Predrag Šustar - 2016 - Prolegomena 15 (1):21-41.
    The aim of this paper is to analyze, from a philosophical perspective, the scientific robustness of the construct of psychopathy as measured by the Psychopathy Checklist Revised that was developed by Robert Hare (1991; 2003). The scientific robustness and validity of classifications are topics of many debates in philosophy of science and philosophy of psychiatry more specifically. The main problem consists in establishing whether scientific classifications reflect natural kinds where the concept of a natural kind refers to the existence of (...)
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  • What SPECIES Can Teach Us About THEORY.P. D. Magnus - manuscript
    This paper argues against the common, often implicit view that theories are some specific kind of thing. Instead, I argue for theory concept pluralism: There are multiple distinct theory concepts which we legitimately use in different domains and for different purposes, and we should not expect this to change. The argument goes by analogy with species concept pluralism, a familiar position in philosophy of biology. I conclude by considering some consequences for philosophy of science if theory concept pluralism is correct.
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  • Species.Marc Ereshefsky - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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