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Are natural kind terms special?

In Helen Beebee & Nigel Sabbarton-Leary (eds.), The Semantics and Metaphysics of Natural Kinds. Routledge (2010)

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  1. Philosophy of Chemistry.Michael Weisberg, Paul Needham & Robin Hendry - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Chemistry is the study of the structure and transformation of matter. When Aristotle founded the field in the 4th century BCE, his conceptual grasp of the nature of matter was tailored to accommodate a relatively simple range of observable phenomena. In the 21st century, chemistry has become the largest scientific discipline, producing over half a million publications a year ranging from direct empirical investigations to substantial theoretical work. However, the specialized interest in the conceptual issues arising in chemistry, hereafter Philosophy (...)
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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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  • Naming Without Necessity.Nigel Sabbarton-Leary - 2010 - Dissertation, University of Birmingham
    In this thesis I argue that we should break with the dominant Kripkean tradition concerning natural kind terms and theoretical identity. I claim that there is just no interesting connection between the metaphysics and semantics of natural kind terms, and demonstrate this by constructing a version of descriptivism that is combined with the same metaphysics – that is, a nontrivial version of essentialism – found in Kripke, but which effectively avoids all of the standard criticisms. With my version of descriptivism (...)
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  • Bachelors, Energy, Cats and Water: Putnam on Kinds and Kind Terms.Åsa Wikforss - 2013 - Theoria 79 (3):242-261.
    Since Hilary Putnam and Saul Kripke's first attacks on traditional, descriptivist theories of natural kind terms, it has become customary to speak of the ‘Putnam-Kripke’ view of meaning and reference. This article argues that this is a mistake, and that Putnam's account of natural kind terms is importantly different from that of Kripke. In particular, Putnam has from the very start been sceptical of Kripke's modal claims, and in later papers he explicitly rejects the proposal that theoretical identity statements are (...)
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  • Matter, Structure, and Change: Aspects of the Philosophy of Chemistry.Michael Weisberg & Paul Needham - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (10):927-937.
    This article is an overview of some of the contemporary debates in philosophy of chemistry. We discuss the nature of chemical substances, the individuation of chemical kinds, the relationship between chemistry and physics, and the nature of the chemical bond.
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