David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy of Science 49 (1):67-90 (1982)
Essentialism--understood as the doctrine that there are natural kinds--can be sustained with respect to the most fundamental physical entities of the world, as I elsewhere argue. In this paper I take up the question of the existence of natural kinds among complex structures built out of these elementary ones. I consider a number of objections to essentialism, in particular Locke's puzzle about the existence of borderline cases. A number of recent attempts to justify biological taxonomy are critically examined. I conclude that theory partially justifies such taxonomies but supports only a weaker form of essentialism.
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Citations of this work BETA
J. Brakel (1986). The Chemistry of Substances and the Philosophy of Mass Terms. Synthese 69 (3):291 - 324.
Stefan Dragulinescu (2013). A Challenge for Lowe and Ellis' Differentiation of Kinds as Substantive Universals. Erkenntnis 78 (1):73 - 94.
Ronald de Sousa (1989). Kinds of Kinds: Individuality and Biological Species. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 3 (2):119 – 135.
Leigh M. Valen (1988). Species, Sets, and the Derivative Nature of Philosophy. Biology and Philosophy 3 (1):49-66.
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