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  1. 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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  • Specialisation and the Incommensurability Among Scientific Specialties.Vincenzo Politi - 2019 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 50 (1):129-144.
    In his mature writings, Kuhn describes the process of specialisation as driven by a form of incommensurability, defined as a conceptual/linguistic barrier which promotes and guarantees the insularity of specialties. In this paper, we reject the idea that the incommensurability among scientific specialties is a linguistic barrier. We argue that the problem with Kuhn’s characterisation of the incommensurability among specialties is that he presupposes a rather abstract theory of semantic incommensurability, which he then tries to apply to his description of (...)
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  • Hydraulic Society and a “Stupid Little Fish”: Toward a Historical Ontology of Endangerment.Caleb Scoville - 2019 - Theory and Society 48 (1):1-37.
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  • 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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  • Scientific Enquiry and Natural Kinds: From Planets to Mallards.P. 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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  • Natural Kinds.Emma Tobin & Alexander Bird - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • The Age of Methods: William Whewell, Charles Peirce, and Scientific Kinds.Henry M. Cowles - 2016 - Isis 107 (4):722-737.
  • Race, Genomics, and Philosophy of Science.Jonathan Michael Kaplan, Ludovica Lorusso & Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2014 - Critical Philosophy of Race 2 (2):160-223.
  • Aristotelian Essentialism: Essence in the Age of Evolution.Christopher J. Austin - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2539-2556.
    The advent of contemporary evolutionary theory ushered in the eventual decline of Aristotelian Essentialism (Æ) – for it is widely assumed that essence does not, and cannot have any proper place in the age of evolution. This paper argues that this assumption is a mistake: if Æ can be suitably evolved, it need not face extinction. In it, I claim that if that theory’s fundamental ontology consists of dispositional properties, and if its characteristic metaphysical machinery is interpreted within the framework (...)
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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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  • Does Interpretation in Psychology Differ From Interpretation in Natural Science?Jack Martin & Jeff Sugarman - 2009 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 39 (1):19-37.
    Following an initial discussion of the general nature of interpretation in contemporary psychology, and social and natural science, relevant views of Charles Taylor and Thomas Kuhn are considered in some detail. Although both Taylor and Kuhn agree that interpretation in the social or human sciences differs in some ways from interpretation in the natural sciences, they disagree about the nature and origins of such difference. Our own analysis follows, in which we consider differences in interpretation between the natural and social (...)
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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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  • Limitations of Natural Kind Talk in the Life Sciences: Homology and Other Cases. [REVIEW]Miles MacLeod - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (2):109-120.
    The aim of this article is to detail some reservations against the beliefs, claims, or presuppositions that current essentialist natural kind concepts (including homeostatic property cluster kinds) model grouping practices in the life sciences accurately and generally. Such concepts fit reasoning into particular preconceived epistemic and semantic patterns. The ability of these patterns to fit scientific practice is often argued in support of homeostatic property cluster accounts, yet there are reasons to think that in the life sciences kind concepts exhibit (...)
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  • The Use of Natural Kinds in Evolutionary Developmental Biology.Jessica Bolker - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (2):121-129.
    Evolutionary developmental biologists categorize many different kinds of things, from ontogenetic stages to modules of gene activity. The process of categorization—the establishment of “kinds”—is an implicit part of describing the natural world in consistent, useful ways, and has an essentially practical rather than philosophical basis. Kinds commonly serve one of three purposes: they may function (1) as practical tools for communication; (2) to support prediction and generalization; or (3) as a basis for theoretical discussions. Beyond the minimal requirement that classifications (...)
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  • Biological Individuals and Natural Kinds.Olivier Rieppel - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (2):162-169.
    This paper takes a hierarchical approach to the question whether species are individuals or natural kinds. The thesis defended here is that species are spatiotemporally located complex wholes (individuals), that are composed of (i.e., include) causally interdependent parts, which collectively also instantiate a homeostatic property cluster (HPC) natural kind. Species may form open or closed genetic systems that are dynamic in nature, that have fuzzy boundaries due to the processual nature of speciation, that may have leaky boundaries as is manifest (...)
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  • The Politics of Purity: When, Actually, is Dirt Matter Out of Place?Robbie Duschinsky - 2013 - Thesis Eleven 119 (1):63-77.
    In Purity and Danger, Douglas theorizes purity and impurity in terms of the instantiation and disruption of a shared symbolic order. Purity/impurity discourses act, according to Purity and Danger, as a homeostatic system which ensures the preservation of this social whole, generally encoding that which threatens social equilibrium as impurity. There have been calls for new social theory on this ‘under-theorized’ topic. Presenting such further reflections, I argue that Douglas’ account is less a full explanation than a regularity. Representations of (...)
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  • Brook Ziporyn: Ironies of Oneness and Difference: Coherence in Early Chinese Thought: Prolegomena to the Study of Li 灆: Albany: State University of New York Press, 2012, X + 323 Pages, $85. [REVIEW]Paul R. Goldin - 2013 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 74 (2):243-247.
  • Natural Kindness.Matthew H. 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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  • Two Approaches to Natural Kinds.Judith K. Crane - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):12177-12198.
    Philosophical treatments of natural kinds are embedded in two distinct projects. I call these the philosophy of science approach and the philosophy of language approach. Each is characterized by its own set of philosophical questions, concerns, and assumptions. The kinds studied in the philosophy of science approach are projectible categories that can ground inductive inferences and scientific explanation. The kinds studied in the philosophy of language approach are the referential objects of a special linguistic category—natural kind terms—thought to refer directly. (...)
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  • New Essentialism in Biology.Olivier Rieppel - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (5):662-673.
    The architects of the modern synthesis banned essentialism from evolutionary theory. This rejection of essentialism was motivated by Darwin’s theory of natural selection, and the continuity of evolutionary transformation. Contemporary evolutionary biology witnesses a renaissance of essentialism in three contexts: “origin essentialism” with respect to species and supraspecific taxa, the bar coding of species on the basis of discontinuities of DNA variation between populations, and the search for laws of evolutionary developmental biology. Such “new essentialism” in contemporary biology must be (...)
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  • Unconscious Perception Reconsidered.Ian Phillips - 2018 - Analytic Philosophy 59 (4):471-514.
    Most contemporary theorists regard the traditional thesis that perception is essentially conscious as just another armchair edict to be abandoned in the wake of empirical discovery. Here I reconsider this dramatic departure from tradition. My aim is not to recapture our prelapsarian confidence that perception is inevitably conscious (though much I say might be recruited to that cause). Instead, I want to problematize the now ubiquitous belief in unconscious perception. The paper divides into two parts. Part One is more purely (...)
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  • Oakeshott on Science as a Mode of Experience.Byron Kaldis - 2009 - Zygon 44 (1):169-196.
  • Character Analysis in Cladistics: Abstraction, Reification, and the Search for Objectivity.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2009 - Acta Biotheoretica 57 (1-2):129-162.
    The dangers of character reification for cladistic inference are explored. The identification and analysis of characters always involves theory-laden abstraction—there is no theory-free “view from nowhere.” Given theory-ladenness, and given a real world with actual objects and processes, how can we separate robustly real biological characters from uncritically reified characters? One way to avoid reification is through the employment of objectivity criteria that give us good methods for identifying robust primary homology statements. I identify six such criteria and explore each (...)
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  • Kinds Behaving Badly: Intentional Action and Interactive Kinds.Sophie R. Allen - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 12):2927-2956.
    This paper investigates interactive kinds, a class of kinds suggested by Ian Hacking for which classification generates a feedback loop between the classifiers and what is classified, and argues that human interactive kinds should be distinguished from non-human ones. First, I challenge the claim that there is nothing ontologically special about interactive kinds in virtue of their members being classified as such. To do so, I reject Cooper’s counterexample to Hacking’s thesis that kind descriptions are necessary for intentional action, arguing (...)
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  • Questions Asked and Unasked: How by Worrying Less About the 'Really Real' Philosophers of Science Might Better Contribute to Debates About Genetics and Race.Lisa Gannett - 2010 - Synthese 177 (3):363 - 385.
    Increased attention paid to inter-group genetic variability following completion of the Human Genome Project has provoked debate about race as a category of classification in biomedicine and as a biological phenomenon at the level of the genome. Philosophers of science favor a metaphysical approach relying on natural kind theorizing, the underlying assumptions of which structure the questions asked. Limitations arise the more metaphysically invested and less attuned to scientific practice these questions are. Other questions—arguably, those that matter most socially and (...)
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  • Population Thinking as Trope Nominalism.Bence Nanay - 2010 - Synthese 177 (1):91 - 109.
    The concept of population thinking was introduced by Ernst Mayr as the right way of thinking about the biological domain, but it is difficult to find an interpretation of this notion that is both unproblematic and does the theoretical work it was intended to do. I argue that, properly conceived, Mayr’s population thinking is a version of trope nominalism: the view that biological property-types do not exist or at least they play no explanatory role. Further, although population thinking has been (...)
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  • Perhaps Essentialism is Not so Essential: At Least Not for Natural Kinds: Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O’Rourke, and Matthew H. Slater : Carving Nature at its Joints: Natural Kinds in Metaphysics and Science. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2011, X+355pp, $30.00 PB, $60.00 HB. [REVIEW]Miles MacLeod - 2013 - Metascience 22 (2):293-296.
  • Life as a Homeostatic Property Cluster.Antonio Diéguez - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (2):180-186.
    All of the attempts to date to find a set of necessary and sufficient conditions for life, in order to provide an essential definition of life, have failed. We only have at our disposal series of lists that contain diverse characteristics usually found in living beings. Some authors have drawn from this fact the conclusion that life is not a natural kind. It will be argued here that this conclusion is too hasty and that if life is understood as a (...)
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  • What 'Biological Racial Realism' Should Mean.Quayshawn Spencer - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 159 (2):181-204.
    A curious ambiguity has arisen in the race debate in recent years. That ambiguity is what is actually meant by ‘biological racial realism’. Some philosophers mean that ‘race is a natural kind in biology’, while others mean that ‘race is a real biological kind’. However, there is no agreement about what a natural kind or a real biological kind should be in the race debate. In this article, I will argue that the best interpretation of ‘biological racial realism’ is one (...)
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  • Natural kind terms again.Panu Raatikainen - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-17.
    The new externalist picture of natural kind terms due to Kripke, Putnam, and others has become quite popular in philosophy. Many philosophers of science have remained sceptical. Häggqvist and Wikforss have recently criticised this view severely. They contend it depends essentially on a micro-essentialist view of natural kinds that is widely rejected among philosophers of science, and that a scientifically reasonable metaphysics entails the resurrection of some version of descriptivism. It is argued in this paper that the situation is not (...)
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  • Complexity begets crosscutting, dooms hierarchy.Joyce C. Havstad - 2021 - Synthese 198 (8):7665-7696.
    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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  • Sobre el aporte de la filosofía a las teorías de conceptos en ciencia cognitiva.Bernardo Aguilera & R. Bernardo Pino - 2019 - Revista de Filosofía 76:7-27.
    Este artículo defiende la relevancia de la filosofía en el estudio contemporáneo de conceptos. Con el desarrollo de la ciencia cognitiva, la teorización naturalista e interdisciplinaria acerca de los conceptos ha cobrado impulso. En este contexto, se ha argumentado recientemente que las teorías filosóficas de conceptos no son acerca del tipo de cosas que interesan a los psicólogos, descartando así la pertinencia científica de la contribución filosófica mencionada. Presentamos y discutimos dos casos que sugieren lo contrario, como un intento de (...)
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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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  • In Search of Psychiatric Kinds: Natural Kinds and Natural Classification in Psychiatry.Nicholas Slothouber - unknown
    In recent years both philosophers and scientists have asked whether or not our current kinds of mental disorder—e.g., schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder—are natural kinds; and, moreover, whether or not the search for natural kinds of mental disorder is a realistic desideratum for psychiatry. In this dissertation I clarify the sense in which a kind can be said to be “natural” or “real” and argue that, despite a few notable exceptions, kinds of mental disorder cannot be considered natural kinds. Furthermore, I (...)
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  • Self-Concept Through the Diagnostic Looking Glass: Narratives and Mental Disorder.Şerife Tekin - 2011 - Philosophical Psychology 24 (3):357-380.
    This paper explores how the diagnosis of mental disorder may affect the diagnosed subject’s self-concept by supplying an account that emphasizes the influence of autobiographical and social narratives on self-understanding. It focuses primarily on the diagnoses made according to the criteria provided by the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), and suggests that the DSM diagnosis may function as a source of narrative that affects the subject’s self-concept. Engaging in this analysis by appealing to autobiographies and memoirs written by (...)
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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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  • Amusement and Beyond.Steffen Steinert - 2017 - Dissertation, LMU München
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  • Singularist Semirealism.Bence Nanay - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (2):371-394.
    This paper proposes to carve out a new position in the scientific realism/antirealism debate and argue that it captures some of the most important realist and some of the most important antirealist considerations. The view, briefly stated, is that there is always a fact of the matter about whether the singular statements science gives us are literally true, but there is no fact of the matter about whether the non-singular statements science gives us are literally true. I call this view (...)
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  • Capricious Kinds.Jessica Laimann - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (3):1043-1068.
    According to Ian Hacking, some human kinds are subject to a peculiar type of classificatory instability: individuals change in reaction to being classified, which in turn leads to a revision of our understanding of the kind. Hacking’s claim that these ‘human interactive kinds’ cannot be natural kinds has been vehemently criticized on the grounds that similar patterns of instability occur in paradigmatic examples of natural kinds. I argue that the dialectic of the extant debate misses the core conceptual problem of (...)
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  • The Missing Self in Hacking's Looping Effects.Serife Tekin - 2014 - In H. Kincaid & J. Sullivan (eds.), Mental Kinds and Natural Kinds. MIT Press.
  • 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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  • The Hunting of the SNaRC: A Snarky Solution to the Species Problem.Brent D. Mishler & John S. Wilkins - 2018 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 10 (1).
    We argue that the logical outcome of the cladistics revolution in biological systematics, and the move towards rankless phylogenetic classification of nested monophyletic groups as formalized in the PhyloCode, is to eliminate the species rank along with all the others and simply name clades. We propose that the lowest level of formally named clade be the SNaRC, the Smallest Named and Registered Clade. The SNaRC is an epistemic level in the classification, not an ontic one. Naming stops at that level (...)
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Oakeshott on Science as a Mode of Experience.ron Kaldis - 2009 - Zygon 44 (1):169-196.
    I offer a critical exposition and reconstruction of Michael Oakeshott's views on natural science. The principal aim is to enrich Oakeshott's modal schema by throwing light on it in terms of its internal consistency and by bringing to bear on it recent developments in philosophy in general and the philosophy of science in particular. The discussion brings out the special place reserved for philosophy, the crucial tenet of the separateness of these modes seen as Leibnizian monads as well as the (...)
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  • Scientific Realism with Historical Essences: The Case of Species.Marion Godman - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 12):3041-3057.
    Natural kinds, real kinds, or, following J.S Mill simply, Kinds, are thought to be an important asset for scientific realists in the non-fundamental (or “special”) sciences. Essential natures are less in vogue. I show that the realist would do well to couple her Kinds with essential natures in order to strengthen their epistemic and ontological credentials. I argue that these essential natures need not however be intrinsic to the Kind’s members; they may be historical. I concentrate on assessing the merits (...)
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  • Jacob Stegenga—“Population” Is Not a Natural Kind of Kinds : Should We Be Population Pluralists? A Reply to Stegenga.Roberta L. Millstein - 2010 - Biological Theory 5 (3):271-275.
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  • Authority and Natural Kind Essence.Jonah Goldwater - 2018 - Axiomathes 28 (1):1-12.
    If natural kinds have microstructural essences they have them independently of rules for the application of kind terms. This suggests that what those rules are should make no difference to the essences being discoverable. I present two thought-experiments that suggest otherwise, however. Each shows an authority’s application of rules creates the appearance of there being kind essences; absent those rules, the appearance vanishes. This suggests natural kind essences are not independent of authority-sanctioned rules.
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