Natural Kinds: (Thick) Essentialism or Promiscuous Realism?
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Writings 34 (1):5 - 13 (2007)
Theoretical identity statements of the form "water is H2O‟ are allegedly necessary truths knowable a posteriori, and assert that nothing could be water and not be H2O. The necessary a posteriori nature of these identity claims has been taken by Kripke, Putnam and Donnellan to justify a move from talk of reference (language) to talk of essence (metaphysics), and has motivated much of contemporary essentialism. In this paper I will contest this move from reference to essence, and argue that (i.) the only way to derive essentialism from semantics (specifically direct reference) is to assume it as a premise, (ii.) that contemporary essentialism is a metaphysical assumption not a thesis, and (iii.) – assuming the accuracy of the analogy between proper names and natural kind terms – present an alternative version of natural kinds classification that is interest-relative, dependent on practical application and reflects the contingent state of affairs which is our world.
|Keywords||Natural Kinds Essentialism Kripke Putnam|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Weng-Fang Wang (2005). OK or OK*—Putnam's Way to Essentialism. Journal of Philosophical Research 30:237-250.
Sören Häggqvist (2005). Kinds, Projectibility and Explanation. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 5 (1):71-87.
John S. Wilkins (2013). Biological Essentialism and the Tidal Change of Natural Kinds. Science and Education 22 (2):221-240.
Samir Okasha (2002). Darwinian Metaphysics: Species and the Question of Essentialism. Synthese 131 (2):191-213.
Wen-Fang Wang (2007). Putnam's Way to Essentialism. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 6:111-117.
Evan Fales (1982). Natural Kinds and Freaks of Nature. Philosophy of Science 49 (1):67-90.
Alexander Bird (2009). Essences and Natural Kinds. In Robin Le Poidevin (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Metaphysics. Routledge 497--506.
Nigel Leary (2009). How Essentialists Misunderstand Locke. History of Philosophy Quarterly 26 (3):273-292.
Rupert Read & Wes Sharrock (2002). Thomas Kuhn's Misunderstood Relation to Kripke-Putnam Essentialism. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 33 (1):151-8.
Neil E. Williams (2011). Putnam's Traditional Neo-Essentialism. Philosophical Quarterly 61 (242):151 - 170.
Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.
Added to index2009-04-30
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?