Biological Essentialism, Projectable Human Kinds, and Psychiatric Classification

Philosophy of Science:1-21 (forthcoming)


A minimal essentialism (‘intrinsic biological essentialism’) about natural kinds is required to explain the projectability of human science terms. Human classifications that yield robust and ampliative projectable inferences refer to biological kinds. I articulate this argument with reference to an intrinsic essentialist account of HPC kinds. This account implies that human sciences (e.g., medicine, psychiatry) that aim to formulate predictive kind categories should classify biological kinds. Issues concerning psychiatric classification and pluralism are examined.

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Jonathan Y. Tsou
University of Texas at Dallas

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