David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy Compass 3 (4):789-802 (2008)
The aim of this article is to illustrate how a belief in the existence of kinds may be justified for the particular case of natural kinds: particularly noteworthy in this respect is the weight borne by scientific natural kinds (e.g., physical, chemical, and biological kinds) in (i) inductive arguments; (ii) the laws of nature; and (iii) causal explanations. It is argued that biological taxa are properly viewed as kinds as well, despite the fact that they have been by some alleged to be individuals. Since it turns out that the arguments associated with the standard Kripke/Putnam semantics for natural kind terms only establish the non-descriptiveness of natural kind terms and not their rigidity, the door is open to analyze these terms as denoting traditional predicate-extensions. Finally, special issues raised by physical and chemical kinds are considered briefly, in particular impurities, isotopes and the threat of incommensurability.
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References found in this work BETA
Nelson Goodman (1983). Fact, Fiction, and Forecast. Harvard University Press.
Nathan U. Salmon (2005). Reference and Essence. Prometheus Books.
Thomas S. Kuhn (1962). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions Vol. The University of Chicago Press.
John Dupré (1993). The Disorder of Things: Metaphysical Foundations of the Disunity of Science. Harvard University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Sonia Roca-Royes (2011). Essential Properties and Individual Essences. Philosophy Compass 6 (1):65-77.
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