Etiological Kinds

Philosophy of Science 88 (1):1-21 (2021)
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Kinds that share historical properties are dubbed “historical kinds” or “etiological kinds,” and they have some distinctive features. I will try to characterize etiological kinds in general terms and briefly survey some previous philosophical discussions of these kinds. Then I will take a closer look at a few case studies involving different types of etiological kinds. Finally, I will try to understand the rationale for classifying on the basis of etiology, putting forward reasons for classifying phenomena on the basis of diachronic features, thereby making a provisional case for considering at least some etiological kinds to be natural kinds.

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Muhammad Ali Khalidi
CUNY Graduate Center


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