Biological Theory 7 (2):89-99 (2013)

Thomas A. C. Reydon
Universität Hannover
Miles MacLeod
University of Twente
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 fatalistic reading is also possible. We argue that abandoning the concept of natural kinds would be premature, as it still can do important work. Our concern is with the situation in the (philosophy of the) life sciences. Against the background of this concern we attempt to set something of an agenda for future research on the topic of natural kinds in the (philosophy of the) life sciences
Keywords Classification  Ian Hacking  Natural kinds  Pluralism  Scientific kinds
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s13752-012-0080-0
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,337
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Scientific Essentialism.Brian Ellis - 2001 - Cambridge University Press.
Special Sciences.Jerry A. Fodor - 1974 - Synthese 28 (2):97-115.

View all 45 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Natural Kinds as Categorical Bottlenecks.Laura Franklin-Hall - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (4):925-948.
Indigenous and Scientific Kinds.David Ludwig - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (1).
Taxonomy, Ontology, and Natural Kinds.P. Magnus - 2018 - Synthese 195 (4):1427-1439.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
75 ( #154,146 of 2,508,058 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #276,895 of 2,508,058 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes