Natural Kinds: (Thick) Essentialism or Promiscuous Realism?
Philosophical Writings 34:5 - 13 (2007)
|Abstract||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|
|External links||This entry has no external links. Add one.|
|Through your library||Configure|
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 (forthcoming). Biological Essentialism and the Tidal Change of Natural Kinds. Science and Education.
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.
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 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?