Can the world help us in fixing the reference of natural kind terms?

According to Putnam the reference of natural kind terms is fixed by the world, at least partly; whether two things belong to the same kind depends on whether they obey the same objective laws. We show that Putnam's criterion of substance identity only “works” if we read “objective laws” as “OBJECTIVE LAWS”. Moreover, at least some of the laws of some of the special sciences have to be included. But what we consider to be good special sciences and what not depends upon our values. Hence, “objective laws” cannot be read as “OBJECTIVE LAWS”. It follows that the reference of natural kind terms cannot be fixed by the world, not even partly. The final conclusion applies to a variety of realisms.
Keywords Putnam  natural kind terms
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DOI 10.1023/A:1008201511451
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Igor Douven & Henk W. De Regt (2002). A Davidsonian Argument Against Incommensurability. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 16 (2):157 – 169.
Igor Douven (2000). Theoretical Terms and the Principle of the Benefit of Doubt. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 14 (2):135 – 146.
Igor Douven (1999). Marc Slors on Personal Identity. Philosophical Explorations 2 (2):143 – 149.

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