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  1. 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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  • Representing and Coordinating Ethnobiological Knowledge.Daniel Weiskopf - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences.
    Indigenous peoples possess enormously rich and articulated knowledge of the natural world. A major goal of research in anthropology and ethnobiology as well as ecology, conservation biology, and development studies is to find ways of integrating this knowledge with that produced by academic and other institutionalized scientific communities. Here I present a challenge to this integration project. I argue, by reference to ethnographic and cross-cultural psychological studies, that the models of the world developed within specialized academic disciplines do not map (...)
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  • How to Philosophically Tackle Kinds Without Talking About ‘Natural Kinds’.Ingo Brigandt - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy.
    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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Debate acutal sobre los géneros naturales desde una perspectiva lockeana.Alba Amilburu Martínez - 2016 - Agora 35 (2).
    El objetivo del presente trabajo es, por un lado, reivindicar la importancia e influencia del enfoque de Locke para la discusión sobre los géneros naturales y, por otro, mostrar cómo su visión y aportaciones en torno al sistema de clasificación natural resultan de gran utilidad para entender en profundidad la compleja geografía del debate contemporáneo sobre estos géneros. En particular, ofrecemos una interpretación según la cual las concepciones de género natural se comprenden como críticas realistas a la posición que sostiene (...)
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  • Social Construction, HPC Kinds, and the Projectability of Human Categories.Jonathan Y. Tsou - 2020 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 50 (2):115-137.
    This paper addresses the question of how human science categories yield projectable inferences by critically examining Ron Mallon’s ‘social role’ account of human kinds. Mallon contends that human categories are projectable when a social role produces a homeostatic property cluster (HPC) kind. On this account, human categories are projectable when various social mechanisms stabilize and entrench those categories. Mallon’s analysis obscures a distinction between transitory and robust projectable inferences. I argue that the social kinds discussed by Mallon yield the former, (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Complexity Begets Crosscutting, Dooms Hierarchy.Joyce C. Havstad - forthcoming - Synthese:1-32.
    There is a perennial philosophical dream of a certain natural order for the natural kinds. The name of this dream is ‘the hierarchy requirement’. According to this postulate, proper natural kinds form a taxonomy which is both unique and traditional. Here I demonstrate that complex scientific objects exist: objects which generate different systems of scientific classification, produce myriad legitimate alternatives amongst the nonetheless still natural kinds, and make the hierarchical dream impossible to realize, except at absurdly great cost. Philosophical hopes (...)
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  • Defining Life as a Non-Essentialist Natural Kind.Jaime Soler Parra - 2019 - Quaderns de Filosofia 6 (2):27.
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  • Quaderns de Filosofia VI, 2.Quad Fia - 2019 - Quaderns de Filosofia 6 (2).
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  • Can the Epistemic Value of Natural Kinds Be Explained Independently of Their Metaphysics?Catherine Kendig & John Grey - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axz004.
    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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  • Where Do You Get Your Protein? Or: Biochemical Realization.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    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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  • How Not to Resist the Natural Kind Talk in Biology.María J. Ferreira Ruiz - 2019 - Quaderns de Filosofia 6 (1):47.
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  • Quaderns de Filosofia VI, 1.Quad Fia - 2019 - Quaderns de Filosofia 6 (1).
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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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  • 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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  • Truth or Spin? Disease Definition in Cancer Screening.Lynette Reid - 2017 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 42 (4):385-404.
    Are the small and indolent cancers found in abundance in cancer screening normal variations, risk factors, or disease? Naturalists in philosophy of medicine turn to pathophysiological findings to decide such questions objectively. To understand the role of pathophysiological findings in disease definition, we must understand how they mislead in diagnostic reasoning. Participants on all sides of the definition of disease debate attempt to secure objectivity via reductionism. These reductivist routes to objectivity are inconsistent with the Bayesian nature of clinical reasoning; (...)
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • NK≠HPC.P. D. Magnus - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (256):471-477.
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  • Ontological Choices and the Value-Free Ideal.David Ludwig - 2015 - Erkenntnis (6):1-20.
    The aim of this article is to argue that ontological choices in scientific practice undermine common formulations of the value-free ideal in science. First, I argue that the truth values of scientific statements depend on ontological choices. For example, statements about entities such as species, race, memory, intelligence, depression, or obesity are true or false relative to the choice of a biological, psychological, or medical ontology. Second, I show that ontological choices often depend on non-epistemic values. On the basis of (...)
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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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  • 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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  • Revamping the Metaphysics of Ethnobiological Classification.David Ludwig - 2018 - Current Anthropology 59 (4):415-438.
    Ethnobiology has a long tradition of metaphysical debates about the “naturalness,” “objectivity”, “reality”, and “universality” of classifications. Especially the work of Brent Berlin has been influential in developing a “convergence metaphysics” that explains cross-cultural similarities of knowledge systems through shared recognition of objective discontinuities in nature. Despite its influence on the development of the field, convergence metaphysics has largely fallen out of favor as contemporary ethnobiologists tend to emphasize the locality and diversity of classificatory practices. The aim of this article (...)
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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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  • 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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  • Against the New Metaphysics of Race.David Ludwig - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (2):244-265.
    The aim of this article is to develop an argument against metaphysical debates about the existence of human races. I argue that the ontology of race is underdetermined by both empirical and non-empirical evidence due to a plurality of equally permissible candidate meanings of "race." Furthermore, I argue that this underdetermination leads to a deflationist diagnosis according to #hich disputes about the existence of human races are non-substantive verbal disputes. $hile this diagnosis resembles general deflationist strategies in contemporary metaphysics" I (...)
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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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  • Fuzziness in the Mind: Can Perception Be Unconscious?Henry Taylor - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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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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  • Eliminative Pluralism and Integrative Alternatives: The Case of Species.Matthew J. Barker - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (3):657-681.
    Pluralisms of various sorts are popular in philosophy of science, including those that imply some scientific concept x should be eliminated from science in favour of a plurality of concepts x1, x2, … xn. This article focuses on influential and representative arguments for such eliminative pluralism about the concept species. The main conclusions are that these arguments fail, that all other extant arguments also fail, and that this reveals a quite general dilemma, one that poses a defeasible presumption against many (...)
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  • Messy Chemical Kinds.Joyce C. Havstad - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (3):719-743.
    Following Kripke and Putnam, the received view of chemical kinds has been a microstructuralist one. To be a microstructuralist about chemical kinds is to think that membership in said kinds is conferred by microstructural properties. Recently, the received microstructuralist view has been elaborated and defended, but it has also been attacked on the basis of complexities, both chemical and ontological. Here, I look at which complexities really challenge the microstructuralist view; at how the view itself might be made more complicated (...)
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  • Are Homologies Really Natural Kinds?Christopher Pearson - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (4):42.
    The metaphysical nature of homologies has been variously characterized as natural kind, individualist, and pluralist-pragmatic. In this essay, I aim to build on the work of proponents of a natural kinds ontology for homologies using Richard Boyd’s influential HPC account of natural kinds. I aim to advance this position by showing the unique fit of extending the HPC account to homologies, deflecting individualist critiques, as well as the pluralist-pragmatic alternative, showing that homologies have a determinate metaphysical character as kinds. As (...)
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  • Beyond Black Dots and Nutritious Things: A Solution to the Indeterminacy Problem.Marc Artiga - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
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  • Mineral misbehavior: why mineralogists don’t deal in natural kinds.Carlos Santana - 2019 - Foundations of Chemistry 21 (3):333-343.
    Mineral species are, at first glance, an excellent candidate for an ideal set of natural kinds somewhere beyond the periodic table. Mineralogists have a detailed set of rules and formal procedure for ratifying new species, and minerals are a less messy subject matter than biological species, psychological disorders, or even chemicals more broadly—all areas of taxonomy where the status of species as natural kinds has been disputed. After explaining how philosophers have tended to get mineralogy wrong in discussions of natural (...)
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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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  • Natural Kinds No Longer Are What They Never Were: Muhammad Ali Khalidi: Natural Categories and Human Kinds: Classification in the Natural and Social Sciences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013, Xvi+250pp, £55.00 HB.Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2015 - Metascience 24 (2):259-264.
    The more one reads about the topic of natural kinds, the more one is reminded of that famous scene in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in which Deep Thought—after a mere 7.5 million years of doing calculations—reveals that the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything was 42. Faced with bewildered reactions from the eager audience, Deep Thought explains: “I think the problem, to be quite honest with you, is that you’ve never actually known what (...)
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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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  • Music Pluralism, Music Realism, and Music Archaeology.Anton Killin - forthcoming - Topoi:1-12.
    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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  • Ethnoontology: Ways of World‐Building Across Cultures.David Ludwig & Daniel A. Weiskopf - 2019 - Philosophy Compass (9):1-11.
    This article outlines a program of ethnoontology that brings together empirical research in the ethnosciences with ontological debates in philosophy. First, we survey empirical evidence from heterogeneous cultural contexts and disciplines. Second, we propose a model of cross‐cultural relations between ontologies beyond a simple divide between universalist and relativist models. Third, we argue for an integrative model of ontology building that synthesizes insights from different fields such as biological taxonomy, cognitive science, cultural anthropology, and political ecology. We conclude by arguing (...)
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  • Racial Realism II: Are Folk Races Real?Quayshawn Spencer - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (1).
    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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  • 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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  • Biases, Bumps, Nudges, Query Lists, and Zero Tolerance Policies.Wein Sheldon - unknown
    Zero tolerance policies are often mistakenly thought to be the best way to deal with pressing social problems. However, most arguments for zero tolerance policies are either based on inaccurate premises or they commit the zero tolerance fallacy. This paper explores ways that we might counteract the bias in favor of zero tolerance policies by adding a query list to the choice architecture.
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  • MATTHEW H. SLATER Are Species Real? An Essay on the Metaphysics of Species.Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (4):1029-1033.
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  • On Radical Solutions in the Philosophy of Biology: What Does “Individuals Thinking” Actually Solve?Thomas A. C. Reydon - forthcoming - Synthese:1-23.
    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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