David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy of Science 55 (4):493-510 (1988)
This paper defends the Causal Theory of Reference against the recent criticism that it imposes a priori constraints on the aims and practices of science. The metaphysical essentialism of this theory is shown to be compatible with the requirements of naturalistic epistemology. The theory is nevertheless unable to forestall the problem of incommensurability for scientific terms, because it misrepresents the conditions under which their reference is fixed. The resources of the Causal Theory of Reference and of the traditional cluster or "network" theory of meaning for handling problems of commensurability are compared, and an alternative approach is recommended
|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
Stephen P. Stich & Stephen Laurence (1994). Intentionality and Naturalism. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 19 (1):159-82.
Nader Chokr (1993). Clusters' Last Stand. Social Epistemology 7 (4):329 – 353.
Similar books and articles
Christopher Hughes Conn (2002). Locke on Natural Kinds and Essential Properties. Journal of Philosophical Research 27:475-497.
John S. Wilkins (forthcoming). Biological Essentialism and the Tidal Change of Natural Kinds. Science and Education.
Jussi Jylkkä (2008). Concepts and Reference: Defending a Dual Theory of Natural Kind Concepts. Dissertation, University of Turku
Daniel P. Sulmasy (2005). “Diseases and Natural Kinds”. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 26 (6):487-513.
Robert A. Wilson (2004). Review of Laporte on Natural Kinds. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 24:423-426.
Neil E. Williams (2011). Putnam's Traditional Neo-Essentialism. Philosophical Quarterly 61 (242):151 - 170.
Alexander Bird (2004). Kuhn on Reference and Essence. Philosophia Scientiae 8 (1):39-71.
Rupert Read & Wes Sharrock (2002). Thomas Kuhn's Misunderstood Relation to Kripke-Putnam Essentialism. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 33 (1):151-8.
Evan Fales (1982). Natural Kinds and Freaks of Nature. Philosophy of Science 49 (1):67-90.
Nigel Leary (2007). Natural Kinds: (Thick) Essentialism or Promiscuous Realism? Philosophical Writings 34:5 - 13.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads55 ( #28,322 of 1,100,753 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #289,565 of 1,100,753 )
How can I increase my downloads?