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  1. Natural Kindness.Matthew Slater - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (2):375-411.
    Philosophers have long been interested in a series of interrelated questions about natural kinds. What are they? What role do they play in science and metaphysics? How do they contribute to our epistemic projects? What categories count as natural kinds? And so on. Owing, perhaps, to different starting points and emphases, we now have at hand a variety of conceptions of natural kinds—some apparently better suited than others to accommodate a particular sort of inquiry. Even if coherent, this situation isn’t (...)
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  • Natural Categories and Human Kinds: Classification in the Natural and Social Sciences.Muhammad Ali Khalidi - 2013 - Cambridge University Press.
    The notion of 'natural kinds' has been central to contemporary discussions of metaphysics and philosophy of science. Although explicitly articulated by nineteenth-century philosophers like Mill, Whewell and Venn, it has a much older history dating back to Plato and Aristotle. In recent years, essentialism has been the dominant account of natural kinds among philosophers, but the essentialist view has encountered resistance, especially among naturalist metaphysicians and philosophers of science. Informed by detailed examination of classification in the natural and social sciences, (...)
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  • Natural Kinds in Philosophy and in the Life Sciences: Scholastic Twilight or New Dawn? [REVIEW]Miles MacLeod & Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (2):89-99.
    This article, which is intended both as a position paper in the philosophical debate on natural kinds and as the guest editorial to this thematic issue, takes up the challenge posed by Ian Hacking in his paper, “Natural Kinds: Rosy Dawn, Scholastic Twilight.” Whereas a straightforward interpretation of that paper suggests that according to Hacking the concept of natural kinds should be abandoned, both in the philosophy of science and in philosophy more generally, we suggest that an alternative and less (...)
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  • Natural Kinds and Concepts: A Pragmatist and Methodologically Naturalistic Account.Ingo Brigandt - 2011 - In Jonathan Knowles & Henrik Rydenfelt (eds.), Pragmatism, Science and Naturalism. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang Publishing. pp. 171–196.
    In this chapter I lay out a notion of philosophical naturalism that aligns with pragmatism. It is developed and illustrated by a presentation of my views on natural kinds and my theory of concepts. Both accounts reflect a methodological naturalism and are defended not by way of metaphysical considerations, but in terms of their philosophical fruitfulness. A core theme is that the epistemic interests of scientists have to be taken into account by any naturalistic philosophy of science in general, and (...)
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  • Hysteria, Race, Phlogiston. A Model of Ontological Elimination in the Human Sciences.David Ludwig - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (1):68-77.
    Elimination controversies are ubiquitous in philosophy and the human sciences. For example, it has been suggested that human races, hysteria, intelligence, mental disorder, propositional attitudes such as beliefs and desires, the self, and the super-ego should be eliminated from the list of respectable entities in the human sciences. I argue that eliminativist proposals are often presented in the framework of an oversimplified “phlogiston model” and suggest an alternative account that describes ontological elimination on a gradual scale between criticism of empirical (...)
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  • When Traditional Essentialism Fails.Robert A. Wilson, Matthew J. Barker & Ingo Brigandt - 2007 - Philosophical Topics 35 (1-2):189-215.
    Essentialism is widely regarded as a mistaken view of biological kinds, such as species. After recounting why (sections 2-3), we provide a brief survey of the chief responses to the “death of essentialism” in the philosophy of biology (section 4). We then develop one of these responses, the claim that biological kinds are homeostatic property clusters (sections 5-6) illustrating this view with several novel examples (section 7). Although this view was first expressed 20 years ago, and has received recent discussion (...)
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  • Carnap and the Caterpillar.Philip Kitcher - 2008 - Philosophical Topics 36 (1):111-127.
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  • Taxonomy, Polymorphism, and History: An Introduction to Population Structure Theory.Marc Ereshefsky & Mohan Matthen - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (1):1-21.
    Homeostatic Property Cluster (HPC) theory suggests that species and other biological taxa consist of organisms that share certain similarities. HPC theory acknowledges the existence of Darwinian variation within biological taxa. The claim is that “homeostatic mechanisms” acting on the members of such taxa nonetheless ensure a significant cluster of similarities. The HPC theorist’s focus on individual similarities is inadequate to account for stable polymorphism within taxa, and fails properly to capture their historical nature. A better approach is to treat distributions (...)
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  • Scientific Enquiry and Natural Kinds: From Planets to Mallards.P. D. Magnus - 2012 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    Some scientific categories seem to correspond to genuine features of the world and are indispensable for successful science in some domain; in short, they are natural kinds. This book gives a general account of what it is to be a natural kind and puts the account to work illuminating numerous specific examples.
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  • Hysteria, Race, and Phlogiston. A Model of Ontological Elimination in the Human Sciences.David Ludwig - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 45 (1):68-77.
    Elimination controversies are ubiquitous in philosophy and the human sciences. For example, it has been suggested that human races, hysteria, intelligence, mental disorder, propositional attitudes such as beliefs and desires, the self, and the super-ego should be eliminated from the list of respectable entities in the human sciences. I argue that eliminativist proposals are often presented in the framework of an oversimplified “phlogiston model” and suggest an alternative account that describes ontological elimination on a gradual scale between criticism of empirical (...)
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  • NK≠HPC.P. D. Magnus - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (256):471-477.
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  • Part-Whole Science.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2011 - Synthese 178 (3):397-427.
    A scientific explanatory project, part-whole explanation, and a kind of science, part-whole science are premised on identifying, investigating, and using parts and wholes. In the biological sciences, mechanistic, structuralist, and historical explanations are part-whole explanations. Each expresses different norms, explananda, and aims. Each is associated with a distinct partitioning frame for abstracting kinds of parts. These three explanatory projects can be complemented in order to provide an integrative vision of the whole system, as is shown for a detailed case study: (...)
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  • Quantum Humeanism, Or: Physicalism Without Properties.Michael Esfeld - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (256):453-470.
    In recent literature, it has become clear that quantum physics does not refute Humeanism: Lewis’s thesis of Humean supervenience can be literally true even in the light of quantum entanglement. This point has so far been made with respect to Bohm’s quantum theory. Against this background, this paper seeks to achieve the following four results: to generalize the option of quantum Humeanism from Bohmian mechanics to primitive ontology theories in general; to show that this option applies also to classical mechanics; (...)
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  • Natural Kinds and Conceptual Change.R. W. Fischer - 2008 - Erkenntnis 69 (3):415-419.
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  • Putnam's Theory of Natural Kinds and Their Names is Not the Same as Kripke's.Ian Hacking - 2007 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 11 (1):1-24.
    Philosophers have been referring to the “Kripke–Putnam” theory of naturalkind terms for over 30 years. Although there is one common starting point, the two philosophers began with different motivations and presuppositions, and developed in different ways. Putnam’s publications on the topic evolved over the decades, certainly clarifying and probably modifying his analysis, while Kripke published nothing after 1980. The result is two very different theories about natural kinds and their names. Both accept that the meaning of a naturalkind term is (...)
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  • Towards a Processual Microbial Ontology.Eric Bapteste & John Dupré - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (2):379-404.
    Standard microbial evolutionary ontology is organized according to a nested hierarchy of entities at various levels of biological organization. It typically detects and defines these entities in relation to the most stable aspects of evolutionary processes, by identifying lineages evolving by a process of vertical inheritance from an ancestral entity. However, recent advances in microbiology indicate that such an ontology has important limitations. The various dynamics detected within microbiological systems reveal that a focus on the most stable entities (or features (...)
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  • Typology Reconfigured: From the Metaphysics of Essentialism to the Epistemology of Representation.Alan C. Love - 2009 - Acta Biotheoretica 57 (1-2):51-75.
    The goal of this paper is to encourage a reconfiguration of the discussion about typology in biology away from the metaphysics of essentialism and toward the epistemology of classifying natural phenomena for the purposes of empirical inquiry. First, I briefly review arguments concerning ‘typological thinking’, essentialism, species, and natural kinds, highlighting their predominantly metaphysical nature. Second, I use a distinction between the aims, strategies, and tactics of science to suggest how a shift from metaphysics to epistemology might be accomplished. Typological (...)
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  • Monophyly, Paraphyly, and Natural Kinds.Olivier Rieppel - 2005 - Biology and Philosophy 20 (2-3):465-487.
    A long-standing debate has dominated systematic biology and the ontological commitments made by its theories. The debate has contrasted individuals and the part – whole relationship with classes and the membership relation. This essay proposes to conceptualize the hierarchy of higher taxa is terms of a hierarchy of homeostatic property cluster natural kinds (biological species remain largely excluded from the present discussion). The reference of natural kind terms that apply to supraspecific taxa is initially fixed descriptively; the extension of those (...)
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  • Darwinian Metaphysics: Species and the Question of Essentialism.Samir Okasha - 2002 - Synthese 131 (2):191-213.
    Biologists and philosophers of biology typically regard essentialism about speciesas incompatible with modern Darwinian theory. Analytic metaphysicians such asKripke, Putnam and Wiggins, on the other hand, believe that their essentialist thesesare applicable to biological kinds. I explore this tension. I show that standard anti-essentialist considerations only show that species do not have intrinsic essential properties. I argue that while Putnam and Kripke do make assumptions that contradict received biological opinion, their model of natural kinds, suitably modified, is partially applicable to (...)
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  • The Role of Intuitive Ontologies in Scientific Understanding – the Case of Human Evolution.Helen De Cruz & Johan De Smedt - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (3):351-368.
    Psychological evidence suggests that laypeople understand the world around them in terms of intuitive ontologies which describe broad categories of objects in the world, such as ‘person’, ‘artefact’ and ‘animal’. However, because intuitive ontologies are the result of natural selection, they only need to be adaptive; this does not guarantee that the knowledge they provide is a genuine reflection of causal mechanisms in the world. As a result, science has parted ways with intuitive ontologies. Nevertheless, since the brain is evolved (...)
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  • Natural Kinds: Rosy Dawn, Scholastic Twilight: Ian Hacking.Ian Hacking - 2007 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 61:203-239.
    The rosy dawn of my title refers to that optimistic time when the logical concept of a natural kind originated in Victorian England. The scholastic twilight refers to the present state of affairs. I devote more space to dawn than twilight, because one basic problem was there from the start, and by now those origins have been forgotten. Philosophers have learned many things about classification from the tradition of natural kinds. But now it is in disarray and is unlikely to (...)
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  • Folk Biology and the Anthropology of Science: Cognitive Universals and Cultural Particulars.Scott Atran - 1998 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (4):547-569.
    This essay in the "anthropology of science" is about how cognition constrains culture in producing science. The example is folk biology, whose cultural recurrence issues from the very same domain-specific cognitive universals that provide the historical backbone of systematic biology. Humans everywhere think about plants and animals in highly structured ways. People have similar folk-biological taxonomies composed of essence-based species-like groups and the ranking of species into lower- and higher-order groups. Such taxonomies are not as arbitrary in structure and content, (...)
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  • Mechanisms and Natural Kinds.Carl F. Craver - 2009 - Philosophical Psychology 22 (5):575-594.
    It is common to defend the Homeostatic Property Cluster ( HPC ) view as a third way between conventionalism and essentialism about natural kinds ( Boyd , 1989, 1991, 1997, 1999; Griffiths , 1997, 1999; Keil , 2003; Kornblith , 1993; Wilson , 1999, 2005; Wilson , Barker , & Brigandt , forthcoming ). According to the HPC view, property clusters are not merely conventionally clustered together; the co-occurrence of properties in the cluster is sustained by a similarity generating ( (...)
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  • Kinds, Projectibility and Explanation.Sören Häggqvist - 2005 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 5 (1):71-87.
    Two ways of characterizing natural kinds are currently popular: the Kripke-Putnam appeal to microstructure and Boyd’s appeal to causal homeostasis. I argue that these conceptions are more divergent than is often acknowledged, that they give no credence to essentialism, and that they are both faulty. In their place, I sketch an alternative view of natural kinds, which I call “bare projectibilism”. This conception avoids the appeal to explanation common to microstructuralism and the causal homeostasis view, but is still compatible with (...)
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  • Taxonomic Incommensurability.Howard Sankey - 1998 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 12 (1):7 – 16.
    In a shift of position that has gone largely unnoticed by the great majority of commentators, Thomas Kuhn's version of the incommensurability thesis underwent a major transformation over the last decade and a half of his life. In his later work, Kuhn argued that incommensurability is a relation of translation failure between local subsets of interdefined theoretical terms, which encapsulate the taxonomic structure of a theory. Incommensurability arises because it is impossible to transfer the natural categories employed within one taxonomic (...)
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  • Natural Kinds and Conceptual Change.Joseph LaPorte - 2003 - Cambridge University Press.
    According to the received tradition, the language used to to refer to natural kinds in scientific discourse remains stable even as theories about these kinds are refined. In this illuminating book, Joseph LaPorte argues that scientists do not discover that sentences about natural kinds, like 'Whales are mammals, not fish', are true rather than false. Instead, scientists find that these sentences were vague in the language of earlier speakers and they refine the meanings of the relevant natural-kind terms to make (...)
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  • Knowledge of Manifest Natural Kinds.Scott Soames - 2009 - In Philosophical Essays, Volume 2: The Philosophical Significance of Language. Princeton University Press. pp. 189-210.
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  • Deep Conventionalism About Evolutionary Groups.Matthew J. Barker & Joel D. Velasco - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (5):971-982.
    We argue for a new conventionalism about many kinds of evolutionary groups, including clades, cohesive units, and populations. This rejects a consensus, which says that given any one of the many legitimate grouping concepts, only objective biological facts determine whether a collection is such a group. Surprisingly, being any one kind of evolutionary group typically depends on which of many incompatible values are taken by suppressed variables. This is a novel pluralism underlying most any one group concept, rather than a (...)
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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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  • Natural Kinds as Categorical Bottlenecks.Laura Franklin-Hall - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (4):925-948.
    Both realist and anti-realist accounts of natural kinds possess prima facie virtues: realists can straightforwardly make sense of the apparent objectivity of the natural kinds, and anti-realists, their knowability. This paper formulates a properly anti-realist account designed to capture both merits. In particular, it recommends understanding natural kinds as ‘categorical bottlenecks,’ those categories that not only best serve us, with our idiosyncratic aims and cognitive capacities, but also those of a wide range of alternative agents. By endorsing an ultimately subjective (...)
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  • Natural Kinds and Manifest Forms of Life.J. Brakel - 1992 - Dialectica 46 (3‐4):243-261.
    SummaryIn this paper I try to make sense of and give provisional answers to question like: Are there interesting theories about natural kinds ? Are some classifications or categorisations more natural than others? Does it matter whether or not there are natural kinds? To get an initial feel for the subject let's consider some suggestions from the literature as to what might count as a candidate for a natural kind or natural kind term.
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  • The Role of Intuitive Ontologies in Scientific Understanding – the Case of Human Evolution.Helen Cruz & Johan Smedt - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (3):351-368.
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  • Crosscutting Natural Kinds and the Hierarchy Thesis.Emma Tobin - 2010 - In Helen Beebee & Nigel Sabbarton-Leary (eds.), The Semantics and Metaphysics of Natural Kinds. Routledge. pp. 1--179.
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  • Scientific Kinds.Marc Ereshefsky & Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (4):969-986.
    Richard Boyd’s Homeostatic Property Cluster Theory is becoming the received view of natural kinds in the philosophy of science. However, a problem with HPC Theory is that it neglects many kinds highlighted by scientific classifications while at the same time endorsing kinds rejected by science. In other words, there is a mismatch between HPC kinds and the kinds of science. An adequate account of natural kinds should accurately track the classifications of successful science. We offer an alternative account of natural (...)
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  • Homeostasis, Higher Taxa, and Monophyly.Richard Boyd - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (5):686-701.
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  • La pensée sauvage.Claude Lévi-Strauss - 1964 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 154:508-511.
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  • Homeostasis, Species, and Higher Taxa.Richard Boyd - 1999 - In R. A. Wilson (ed.), Species: New Interdisciplinary Essays. MIT Press. pp. 141-85.
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  • Ethnobiological Classification.Brent Berlin - 1978 - In Eleanor Rosch & Barbara Lloyd (eds.), Cognition and Categorization. Lawrence Elbaum Associates. pp. 9--26.
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  • Mille Plateaux.Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari - 1980
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  • Are Whales Fish.John Dupré - 1999 - In D. Medin & S. Atran (eds.), Folkbiology. MIT Press. pp. 461--476.
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  • Putnam's Traditional Neo-Essentialism.Neil E. Williams - 2011 - Philosophical Quarterly 61 (242):151 - 170.
    Recently, several philosophers have defended what might be called `neo-essentialism' about natural kinds. Their views purport to improve upon the traditional essentialism of Kripke and Putnam by rejecting the claim that essences must be comprised of intrinsic properties. I argue that this so-called break from traditional essentialism is not a break at all, because the widespread interpretation of Putnam according to which he takes essences to be intrinsic is mistaken. Putnam makes no claim to the effect that essences of natural (...)
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  • Knowledge of Manifest Natural Kinds.Scott Soames - 2004 - Facta Philosophica 6 (2004):159-81.
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  • A Bird's Eye View: Biological Categorization and Reasoning Within and Across Cultures.Jeremy N. Bailenson, Michael S. Shum, Scott Atran, Douglas L. Medin & John D. Coley - 2002 - Cognition 84 (1):1-53.
    Many psychological studies of categorization and reasoning use undergraduates to make claims about human conceptualization. Generalizability of findings to other populations is often assumed but rarely tested. Even when comparative studies are conducted, it may be challenging to interpret differences. As a partial remedy, in the present studies we adopt a 'triangulation strategy' to evaluate the ways expertise and culturally different belief systems can lead to different ways of conceptualizing the biological world. We use three groups (US bird experts, US (...)
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  • Natural Kinds and Manifest Forms of Life.J. Van Brakel - 1992 - Dialectica.
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