Messy Chemical Kinds

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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 in order to accommodate such challenges; and finally, at what this increasingly complicated picture implies for our standard assessment of chemical kindhood—primarily, for the widespread assumption that chemical kinds in general are more neat and tidy than those messy biological ones. _1_ The Received View _2_ A Taxonomy of Chemical Kinds _3_ Atomic Number _4_ H2O, H3O+, OH−, and More _5_ Complicating the Microstructuralist Picture _6_ Concrete and Other Mixtures _7_ Macromolecules, Especially Proteins _8_ Abandoning Sameness of Elemental Composition _9_ Not So Different after All
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Archival date: 2019-02-16
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