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Natural Kinds: T. E. Wilkerson

Philosophy 63 (243):29-42 (1988)

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  1. Categorizing Imaginary Objects.Gustavo Arroyo - 2020 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 34 (1):1-20.
    Philosophers often invite their readers to categorize imaginary objects. These objects are not only hypothetical: many of them cannot exist because of physical or technological reasons. They are unprecedented or unheard-of objects. By categorizing imaginary objects, philosophers expect to gain knowledge about our concepts. In this paper, I challenge this general assumption: not every conceivable object can be described in terms of our existing categories. Although prominent philosophers held similar views in the past, they made no effort to provide a (...)
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  • Projection, Symmetry, and Natural Kinds.Benjamin C. Jantzen - 2015 - Synthese 192 (11):3617-3646.
    Scientific practice involves two kinds of induction. In one, generalizations are drawn about the states of a particular system of variables. In the other, generalizations are drawn across systems in a class. We can discern two questions of correctness about both kinds of induction: what distinguishes those systems and classes of system that are ‘projectible’ in Goodman’s sense from those that are not, and what are the methods by which we are able to identify kinds that are likely to be (...)
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  • Do We Need Two Notions of Natural Kind to Account for the History of “Jade”?Françoise Longy - 2018 - Synthese 195 (4):1459-1486.
    We need to distinguish two sorts of natural kinds, scientific and common NKs, because the notion of NK, which has to satisfy demands at three different levels—ontological, semantic and epistemological—, is subject to two incompatible sets of constraints. In order to prove this, I focus on the much-discussed case of jade. In the first part of the paper, I show that the current accounts are unsatisfactory because they are inconsistent. In the process, I explain why LaPorte’s analysis of “jade” as (...)
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  • Special Issue: Philosophical Considerations in the Teaching of Biology. Part II, Evolution, Development and Genetics.Kostas Kampourakis (ed.) - 2013 - Springer (Science & Education).
  • 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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  • Environmental Ethics.Roberta L. Millstein - 2013 - In K. Kampourakis (ed.), The Philosophy of Biology: A Companion for Educators. Springer.
    A number of areas of biology raise questions about what is of value in the natural environment and how we ought to behave towards it: conservation biology, environmental science, and ecology, to name a few. Based on my experience teaching students from these and similar majors, I argue that the field of environmental ethics has much to teach these students. They come to me with pent-up questions and a feeling that more is needed to fully engage in their subjects, and (...)
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  • Racial Realism II: Are Folk Races Real?Quayshawn Spencer - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (1):e12467.
    This article is Part II in a pair of articles on racial realism. In Part I, I defined “racial realism” and discussed the major attempts in the past twenty years among metaphysicians of race and biologists to defend racial realism from the viewpoint of what biologists mean by “race.” In this article, I continue discussing and critiquing how metaphysicians of race have conceived of and defended racial realism, but with a focus on how ordinary people use “race.” I focus on (...)
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  • Natural Kinds and Natural Kind Terms.Kathrin Koslicki - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (4):789-802.
    The aim of this article is to illustrate how a belief in the existence of kinds may be justified for the particular case of natural kinds: particularly noteworthy in this respect is the weight borne by scientific natural kinds (e.g., physical, chemical, and biological kinds) in (i) inductive arguments; (ii) the laws of nature; and (iii) causal explanations. It is argued that biological taxa are properly viewed as kinds as well, despite the fact that they have been by some alleged (...)
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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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  • 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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  • No Purely Epistemic Theory Can Account for the Naturalness of Kinds.Olivier Lemeire - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 12):2907-2925.
    Several philosophers have recently tried to define natural kinds in epistemic terms only. Given the persistent problems with finding a successful metaphysical theory, these philosophers argue that we would do better to describe natural kinds solely in terms of their epistemic usefulness, such as their role in supporting inductive inferences. In this paper, I argue against these epistemology-only theories of natural kinds and in favor of, at least partly, metaphysical theories. I do so in three steps. In the first section (...)
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  • Putting Modal Metaphysics First.Antonella Mallozzi - 2018 - Synthese (Suppl 8):1-20.
    I propose that we approach the epistemology of modality by putting modal metaphysics first and, specifically, by investigating the metaphysics of essence. Following a prominent Neo-Aristotelian view, I hold that metaphysical necessity depends on the nature of things, namely their essences. I further clarify that essences are core properties having distinctive superexplanatory powers. In the case of natural kinds, which is my focus in the paper, superexplanatoriness is due to the fact that the essence of a kind is what causes (...)
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  • Naming Natural Kinds.Åsa Maria Wikforss - 2005 - Synthese 145 (1):65-87.
    This paper discusses whether it can be known a priori that a particular term, such as water, is a natural kind term, and how this problem relates to Putnams claim that natural kind terms require an externalist semantics. Two conceptions of natural kind terms are contrasted: The first holds that whether water is a natural kind term depends on its a priori knowable semantic features. The second.
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  • Activities of Kinding in Scientific Practice.Catherine Kendig - 2016 - In C. Kendig (ed.), Natural Kinds and Classification in Scientific Practice. Routledge.
    Discussions over whether these natural kinds exist, what is the nature of their existence, and whether natural kinds are themselves natural kinds aim to not only characterize the kinds of things that exist in the world, but also what can knowledge of these categories provide. Although philosophically critical, much of the past discussions of natural kinds have often answered these questions in a way that is unresponsive to, or has actively avoided, discussions of the empirical use of natural kinds and (...)
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  • The Causal Structure of Natural Kinds.Olivier Lemeire - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 85:200-207.
    One primary goal for metaphysical theories of natural kinds is to account for their epistemic fruitfulness. According to cluster theories of natural kinds, this epistemic fruitfulness is grounded in the regular and stable co- occurrence of a broad set of properties. In this paper, I defend the view that such a cluster theory is insufficient to adequately account for the epistemic fruitfulness of kinds. I argue that cluster theories can indeed account for the projectibility of natural kinds, but not for (...)
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  • Review: Muhammad Ali Khalidi's Natural Categories and Human Kinds: Classification in the Natural and Social Sciences. [REVIEW]Matthew H. Slater - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (4):1017-1023.
  • Natural Kinds, Causes and Domains: Khalidi on How Science Classifies Things.Vincenzo Politi - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 54:132-137.
    Natural Categories and Human Kinds is a recent and timely contribution to current debate on natural kinds. Because of the growing sophistication of this debate, it is necessary to make careful distinctions in order to appreciate the originality of Khalidi’s position. Khalidi’s view on natural kinds is naturalistic: if we want to know what Nature’s joints really are, we should look at the actual carving job carried out by our best scientific practices. Like LaPorte, Khalidi is a fallibilist: our best (...)
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  • Projectibility and Group Concepts in Population Genetics and Genomics.Lisa Gannett - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (2):130-143.
    Although the category “race” fails as a postulated natural kind, racial, ethnic, national, linguistic, religious, and other group designations might nonetheless be considered projectible insofar as they support inductive inferences in biomedicine. This article investigates what it might mean for group concepts in population genetics and genomics to be projectible and whether the projectibility of such predicates licenses the representation of their corresponding classes as natural kinds according to currently prevailing projectibility-based accounts of natural kinds. The article draws on a (...)
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  • Real Selves: Persons as a Substantial Kind: E. J. Lowe.E. J. Lowe - 1991 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 29:87-107.
    Are persons substances or modes? Two currently dominant views may be characterized as giving the following rival answers to this question. According to the first view, persons are just biological substances. According to the second, persons are psychological modes of substances which, as far as human beings are concerned, happen to be biological substances, but which could in principle be non-biological. There is, however, also a third possible answer, and this is that persons are psychological substances. Such a view is (...)
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  • Science, Reduction and Natural Kinds.Leroy N. Meyer - 1989 - Philosophy 64 (250):535 - 546.
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  • Classifying Life, Reconstructing History and Teaching Diversity: Philosophical Issues in the Teaching of Biological Systematics and Biodiversity.Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2013 - Science & Education 22 (2):189-220.