Philosophy of the Social Sciences 50 (2):115-137 (2020)

Authors
Jonathan Y. Tsou
University of Texas at Dallas
Abstract
This paper addresses the question of how human science categories yield projectable inferences by critically examining Ron Mallon’s ‘social role’ account of human kinds. Mallon contends that human categories are projectable when a social role produces a homeostatic property cluster (HPC) kind. On this account, human categories are projectable when various social mechanisms stabilize and entrench those categories. Mallon’s analysis obscures a distinction between transitory and robust projectable inferences. I argue that the social kinds discussed by Mallon yield the former, while classifications of biological kinds yield the latter. Classifications from psychiatry (‘schizophrenia,’ ‘hysteria’) are discussed as examples.
Keywords Ron Mallon  projectability of human categories  natural kinds  social constructionism  realism
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Reprint years 2019, 2020
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DOI 10.1177/0048393119894899
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References found in this work BETA

The Social Construction of What?Ian Hacking - 1999 - Harvard University Press.

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Philosophy of Psychiatry.Jonathan Y. Tsou - 2021 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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