David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Erkenntnis 54 (1):17-29 (2001)
Today it is widely accepted among philosophers ofanalytical inclination that there are two theoriesabout what endows words with their extensions: thetheory of natural kinds and the so-called Californiansemantics. It is widely agreed that the first issuperior to the second because it can not only explainthe indexicality of the extension of natural kindterms as well as their social character but also avoidGoodman''s paradox of projectibility. Natural kindterms can not be corrupted concepts since theirmembers are grouped by objective similarity.It will be shown that there is a third way besidesthe two above-mentioned theories. It shares theadvantages of Natural Kind theory without making useof the problematic concept of objective similarity.Its main feature is not to claim that extensions arethere once and forever but that concepts evolve byusing concepts.
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