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  1. Emotions as Functional Kinds: A Meta-Theoretical Approach to Constructing Scientific Theories of Emotions.Juan Raúl Loaiza Arias - 2020 - Dissertation, Humboldt-Universität Zu Berlin
    In this dissertation, I address the question of how to construct scientific theories of emotions that are both conceptually sound and empirically fruitful. To do this, I offer an analysis of the main challenges scientific theories of emotions face, and I propose a meta-theoretical framework to construct scientific concepts of emotions as explications of folk emotion concepts. Part I discusses the main challenges theories of emotions in psychology and neuroscience encounter. The first states that a proper scientific theory of emotions (...)
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  • Toward a Reconstruction of Self.Kathleen Wallace - 2019 - Humana Mente 12 (36).
    In this paper, I outline the cumulative network model of the self. This model articulates the self as relational, recognizing social relations as constitutive of the self. The theory arises out of concerns about the individualistic paradigms of two main frameworks in the analytic philosophical literature on personal identity, namely, the psychological and the animalist approaches to personhood and is explicitly inspired by feminist theories on relational autonomy and self. I argue that “relationality” is not only social, but that the (...)
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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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  • Pluto and the Platypus: An Odd Ball and an Odd Duck — On Classificatory Norms.Matthew H. Slater - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 61:1-10.
    Some astronomers believe that we have discovered that Pluto is not a planet. I contest this assessment. Recent discoveries of trans-Neptunian Pluto-sized objects do not require that we exclude Pluto from the planets. But the obvious alternative, that classificatory revision is a matter of arbitrary choice, is also unpalatable. I argue that this classificatory controversy — which I compare to the controversy about the classification of the platypus — illustrates how our classificatory practices are laden with normative commitments of a (...)
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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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  • 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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  • Letting Go of “Natural Kind”: Toward a Multidimensional Framework of Nonarbitrary Classification.David Ludwig - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (1):31-52.
    This article uses the case study of ethnobiological classification to develop a positive and a negative thesis about the state of natural kind debates. On the one hand, I argue that current accounts of natural kinds can be integrated in a multidimensional framework that advances understanding of classificatory practices in ethnobiology. On the other hand, I argue that such a multidimensional framework does not leave any substantial work for the notion “natural kind” and that attempts to formulate a general account (...)
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  • Philosophy of Ethnobiology: Understanding Knowledge Integration and Its Limitations. Journal of Ethnobiology.David Ludwig & Charbel El-Hani - 2019 - Journal of Ethnobiology 39.
    Ethnobiology has become increasingly concerned with applied and normative issues such as climate change adaptation, forest management, and sustainable agriculture. Applied ethnobiology emphasizes the practical importance of local and traditional knowledge in tackling these issues but thereby also raises complex theoretical questions about the integration of heterogeneous knowledge systems. The aim of this article is to develop a framework for addressing questions of integration through four core domains of philosophy -epistemology, ontology, value theory, and political theory. In each of these (...)
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  • Racial Realism II: Are Folk Races Real?Quayshawn Spencer - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (1):e12467.
    This article is Part II in a pair of articles on racial realism. In Part I, I defined “racial realism” and discussed the major attempts in the past twenty years among metaphysicians of race and biologists to defend racial realism from the viewpoint of what biologists mean by “race.” In this article, I continue discussing and critiquing how metaphysicians of race have conceived of and defended racial realism, but with a focus on how ordinary people use “race.” I focus on (...)
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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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  • Beyond Black Dots and Nutritious Things: A Solution to the Indeterminacy Problem.Marc Artiga - 2021 - Mind and Language 36 (3):471-490.
    The indeterminacy problem is one of the most prominent objections against naturalistic theories of content. In this essay I present this difficulty and argue that extant accounts are unable to solve it. Then, I develop a particular version of teleosemantics, which I call ’explanation-based teleosemantics’, and show how this outstanding problem can be addressed within the framework of a powerful naturalistic theory.
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  • Where Do You Get Your Protein? Or: Biochemical Realization.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (3):799-825.
    Biochemical kinds such as proteins pose interesting problems for philosophers of science, as they can be studied from the points of view of both biology and chemistry. The relationship between the biological functions of biochemical kinds and the microstructures that they are related to is the key question. This leads us to a more general discussion about ontological reductionism, microstructuralism, and multiple realization at the biology-chemistry interface. On the face of it, biochemical kinds seem to pose a challenge for ontological (...)
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  • Two Approaches to Natural Kinds.Judith K. Crane - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):12177-12198.
    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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  • Više je ipak bolje: Epistemički interesi i prirodne vrste (eng. The more the merrier: Epistemic interests and natural kinds).Mladen Bošnjak & Zdenka Brzović - 2021 - Prolegomena: Journal of Philosophy 20 (2):235-259.
    In this paper, we focus on the propensity toward identifying natural kinds with successful scientific categories in contemporary discussions of natural kinds within the philosophy of science. Success in this case is understood as the fulfillment of epistemic interests or goals in a given field of scientific research. The prevailing view is that, in order to have a theory of natural kinds that successfully captures current scientific practice, the relevant epistemic interests are the current interests of scientists working in a (...)
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  • Psychopathy as a Scientifc Kind: On Usefulness and Underpinnings.Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2022 - In Luca Malatesti, John McMillan & Predrag Šustar (eds.), Psychopathy: Its Uses, Validity and Status. Cham: Springr. pp. 169-187.
    This chapter examines the status of psychopathy as a scientific kind. I argue that the debate on the question whether psychopathy is a scientific kind as it is conducted at present (i.e., by asking whether psychopathy is a natural kind), is misguided. It relies too much on traditional philosophical views of what natural kinds (or: legitimate scientific kinds) are and how such kinds perform epistemic roles in the sciences. The paper introduces an alternative approach to the question what scientific (or: (...)
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  • In Fieri Kinds: The Case of Psychopathy.Zdenka Brzović & Predrag Šustar - 2022 - In Luca Malatesti, John McMillan & Predrag Šustar (eds.), Psychopathy: Its Uses, Validity and Status. Cham: Springer. pp. 101-119.
    We examine the philosophical and empirical issues related to the question whether psychopathy can be considered a psychiatric natural kind. Natural kinds refer to categories that are privileged because they the capture certain real divisions in nature. Generally, in philosophical debates regarding psychiatry, there is much scepticism about the possibility that psychiatric categories track natural kinds. We outline the main positions in the debate about natural kinds in psychiatry and examine whether psychopathy can be considered as a natural kind on (...)
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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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  • The Kindness of Psychopaths.Zdenka Brzović, Marko Jurjako & Predrag Šustar - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (2):189-211.
    Psychopathy attracts considerable interdisciplinary interest. The idea of a group of people with abnormal morality and interpersonal relations raises important philosophical, legal, and clinical issues. However, before engaging these issues, we ought to examine whether this category is scientifically grounded. We frame the issue in terms of the question whether ‘psychopathy’ designates a natural kind according to the cluster approaches. We argue that currently there is no sufficient evidence for an affirmative answer to this question. Furthermore, we examine three ways (...)
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  • Natural Kinds.Zdenka Brzović - 2018 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    A large part of our exploration of the world consists in categorizing or classifying the objects and processes we encounter, both in scientific and everyday contexts. There are various, perhaps innumerable, ways to sort objects into different kinds or categories, but it is commonly assumed that, among the countless possible types of classifications, one group is privileged. Philosophy refers to such categories as natural kinds. Standard examples of such kinds include fundamental physical particles, chemical elements, and biological species. The term (...)
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  • Scientific Pluralism.Ludwig David & Ruphy Stéphanie - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Vividness as a Natural Kind.Uku Tooming & Kengo Miyazono - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):3023-3043.
    Imaginings are often characterized in terms of vividness. However, there is little agreement in the philosophical literature as to what it amounts to and how to even investigate it. In this paper, we propose a natural kind methodology to study vividness and suggest treating it as a homeostatic property cluster with an underlying nature that explains the correlation of properties in that cluster. This approach relies on the empirical research on the vividness of mental imagery and contrasts with those accounts (...)
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  • Covid-19 and Ageing: Four Alternative Conceptual Frameworks.M. Cristina Amoretti & Davide Serpico - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (3):1-4.
    Ageing is one of the main risk factors for Covid-19. In this paper, we delineate four alternative conceptualisations of ageing, each of which determines different understandings of its causal role to the susceptibility to Covid-19 as well as to the severity of its symptoms and adverse health outcomes.
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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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  • 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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  • Kinds Behaving Badly: Intentional Action and Interactive Kinds.Sophie R. Allen - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 12):2927-2956.
    This paper investigates interactive kinds, a class of kinds suggested by Ian Hacking for which classification generates a feedback loop between the classifiers and what is classified, and argues that human interactive kinds should be distinguished from non-human ones. First, I challenge the claim that there is nothing ontologically special about interactive kinds in virtue of their members being classified as such. To do so, I reject Cooper’s counterexample to Hacking’s thesis that kind descriptions are necessary for intentional action, arguing (...)
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  • Animal Morality: What is the Debate About?Simon Fitzpatrick - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (6):1151-1183.
    Empirical studies of the social lives of non-human primates, cetaceans, and other social animals have prompted scientists and philosophers to debate the question of whether morality and moral cognition exists in non-human animals. Some researchers have argued that morality does exist in several animal species, others that these species may possess various evolutionary building blocks or precursors to morality, but not quite the genuine article, while some have argued that nothing remotely resembling morality can be found in any non-human species. (...)
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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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  • Projection, Symmetry, and Natural Kinds.Benjamin C. Jantzen - 2015 - Synthese 192 (11):3617-3646.
    Scientific practice involves two kinds of induction. In one, generalizations are drawn about the states of a particular system of variables. In the other, generalizations are drawn across systems in a class. We can discern two questions of correctness about both kinds of induction: what distinguishes those systems and classes of system that are ‘projectible’ in Goodman’s sense from those that are not, and what are the methods by which we are able to identify kinds that are likely to be (...)
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  • Dealing with the Changeable and Blurry Edges of Living Things: A Modified Version of Property-Cluster Kinds.María J. Ferreira Ruiz & Jon Umerez - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (3):493-518.
    Despite many attempts to achieve an adequate definition of living systems by means of a set of necessary and sufficient conditions, the opinion that such an enterprise is inexorably destined to fail is increasingly gaining support. However, we believe options do not just come down to either having faith in a future success or endorsing skepticism. In this paper, we aim to redirect the discussion of the problem by shifting the focus of attention from strict definitions towards a philosophical framework (...)
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  • Life and Life Only: A Radical Alternative to Life Definitionism.Carlos Mariscal & W. Ford Doolittle - 2020 - Synthese 197 (7):2975-2989.
    To date, no definition of life has been unequivocally accepted by the scientific community. In frustration, some authors advocate alternatives to standard definitions. These include using a list of characteristic features, focusing on life’s effects, or categorizing biospheres rather than life itself; treating life as a fuzzy category, a process or a cluster of contingent properties; or advocating a ‘wait-and-see’ approach until other examples of life are created or discovered. But these skeptical, operational, and pluralistic approaches have intensified the debate, (...)
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  • Homeostatic Property Cluster Theory without Homeostatic Mechanisms: Two Recent Attempts and their Costs.Yukinori Onishi & Davide Serpico - 2021 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie:1-22.
    The homeostatic property cluster theory is widely influential for its ability to account for many natural-kind terms in the life sciences. However, the notion of homeostatic mechanism has never been fully explicated. In 2009, Carl Craver interpreted the notion in the sense articulated in discussions on mechanistic explanation and pointed out that the HPC account equipped with such notion invites interest-relativity. In this paper, we analyze two recent refinements on HPC: one that avoids any reference to the causes of the (...)
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  • Putting Modal Metaphysics First.Antonella Mallozzi - 2018 - Synthese (Suppl 8):1-20.
    I propose that we approach the epistemology of modality by putting modal metaphysics first and, specifically, by investigating the metaphysics of essence. Following a prominent Neo-Aristotelian view, I hold that metaphysical necessity depends on the nature of things, namely their essences. I further clarify that essences are core properties having distinctive superexplanatory powers. In the case of natural kinds, which is my focus in the paper, superexplanatoriness is due to the fact that the essence of a kind is what causes (...)
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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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  • A Pragmatic Approach to the Possibility of de-Extinction.Matthew H. Slater & Hayley Clatterbuck - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (1-2):4.
    A number of influential biologists are currently pursuing efforts to restore previously extinct species. But for decades, philosophers of biology have regarded “de-extinction” as conceptually incoherent. Once a species is gone, it is gone forever. We argue that a range of metaphysical, biological, and ethical grounds for opposing de-extinction are at best inconclusive and that a pragmatic stance that allows for its possibility is more appealing.
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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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  • 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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  • Species Are, at the Same Time, Kinds and Individuals: A Causal Argument Based on an Empirical Approach to Species Identity.Elena Casetta & Davide Vecchi - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 12):3007-3025.
    After having reconstructed a minimal biological characterisation of species, we endorse an “empirical approach” based on the idea that it is the peculiar evolutionary history of the species at issue—its peculiar origination process, its peculiar metapopulation structure and the peculiar mixture and strength of homeostatic processes vis à vis heterostatic ones—that determines species’ identity at a time and through time. We then explore the consequences of the acceptance of the empirical approach in settling the individuals versus kinds dispute. In particular, (...)
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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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  • 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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  • Species in the Age of Discordance.Matthew H. Haber - 2019 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 11 (21).
    Biological lineages move through time, space, and each other. As they do, they diversify, diverge, and grade away from and into one another. One result of this is genealogical discordance; i.e., the lineages of a biological entity may have different histories. We see this on numerous levels, from microbial networks, to holobionts, to population-level lineages. This paper considers how genealogical discordance impacts our study of species. More specifically, I consider this in the context of three framing questions: (1) How, if (...)
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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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  • Philosophy of Ethnobiology: Understanding Knowledge Integration and Its Limitations.David Ludwig & Charbel N. El-Hani - forthcoming - Journal of Ethnobiology.
    Ethnobiology has become increasingly concerned with applied and normative issues such as climate change adaptation, forest management, and sustainable agriculture. Applied ethnobiology emphasizes the practical importance of local and traditional knowledge in tackling these issues but thereby also raises complex theoretical questions about the integration of heterogeneous knowledge systems. The aim of this article is to develop a framework for addressing questions of integration through four core domains of philosophy - epistemology, ontology, value theory, and political theory. In each of (...)
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  • Can the Epistemic Value of Natural Kinds Be Explained Independently of Their Metaphysics?Catherine Kendig & John Grey - 2021 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 72 (2):359-376.
    The account of natural kinds as stable property clusters is premised on the possibility of separating the epistemic value of natural kinds from their underlying metaphysics. On that account, the co-instantiation of any sub-cluster of the properties associated with a given natural kind raises the probability of the co-instantiation of the rest, and this clustering of property instantiation is invariant under all relevant counterfactual perturbations. We argue that it is not possible to evaluate the stability of a cluster of properties (...)
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  • The Causal Structure of Natural Kinds.Olivier Lemeire - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 85:200-207.
    One primary goal for metaphysical theories of natural kinds is to account for their epistemic fruitfulness. According to cluster theories of natural kinds, this epistemic fruitfulness is grounded in the regular and stable co- occurrence of a broad set of properties. In this paper, I defend the view that such a cluster theory is insufficient to adequately account for the epistemic fruitfulness of kinds. I argue that cluster theories can indeed account for the projectibility of natural kinds, but not for (...)
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  • 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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  • Music Pluralism, Music Realism, and Music Archaeology.Anton Killin - 2021 - Topoi 40 (1):261-272.
    According to pluralism about some concept, there are multiple non-equivalent, legitimate concepts pertaining to the ontological category in question. It is an open question whether conceptual pluralism implies anti-realism about that category. In this article, I argue that at least for the case of music, it does not. To undermine the application of an influential move from pluralism to anti-realism, then, I provide an argument in support of indifference realism about music, by appeal to music archaeological research, via an analogy (...)
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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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  • 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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