David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy 87 (04):531-555 (2012)
In this paper I raise a difficulty for Joseph LaPorte's account of chemical kind terms. LaPorte has argued against Putnam that H₂O content is neither necessary nor sufficient to fix the reference of the kind term 'water' and that we did not discover that water is H₂O. To this purpose, he revisits Putnam's Twin Earth story with the fictional scenario of Deuterium Earth, whose ocean consists of 'dwater', to conclude that we did not discover that deuterium oxide is (a kind of) water (usually called 'heavy water'). Instead, according to LaPorte, by including deuterium oxide in the extension of the term 'water', we simply refined our vague use of the term 'water'. But we could have decided to exclude deuterium oxide from the extension of the term 'water'. Let us call this the thesis of semantic stipulation. I raise two problems for LaPorte's Deuterium Earth story. First, I show that 'dwater' (i.e. deuterium oxide not as a kind of water) does not have the same scientific credibility of 'heavy water' (i.e. deuterium oxide as a kind of water). Second, I argue that for the thesis of semantic stipulation to go through one would need to show that 'dwater' is semantically on a par with 'heavy water'. Namely, one would need to show that 'dwater' is a projectible kind term, capable of supporting inductive inferences. But, in fact, it is not, because the term is vulnerable to an unwelcome Goodmanian scenario, unless one surreptitiously reintroduces some Putnamian assumptions about D₂O content being necessary and sufficient to fix the reference of the term
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
No categories specified
(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
Barbara Abbott (1997). A Note on the Nature of "Water". Mind 106 (422):311-319.
Helen Beebee & Nigel Sabbarton-Leary (eds.) (2010). The Semantics and Metaphysics of Natural Kinds. Routledge.
Alexander Bird (2007). A Posteriori Knowledge of Natural Kind Essences. Philosophical Topics 35 (1-2):293-312.
Richard Boyd (1991). Realism, Anti-Foundationalism and the Enthusiasm for Natural Kinds. Philosophical Studies 61 (1-2):127-48.
Fred I. Dretske (1977). Laws of Nature. Philosophy of Science 44 (2):248-268.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Amy Motichek, Walter Block & Jay Johnson (2008). Forget Ocean Front Property, We Want Ocean Real Estate! Ethics, Place and Environment 11 (2):147 – 155.
Susan Bratton (2004). Thinking Like a Mackerel: Rachel Carson's. Ethics and the Environment 9 (1).
M. Smith (2002). On the Primaeval Ocean. Museum Tusculanum Press.
Christopher Pincock (2014). How to Avoid Inconsistent Idealizations. Synthese 191 (13):2957-2972.
Susan Bratton (2004). Thinking Like a Mackerel: Rachel Carson's "Under the Sea-Wind" as a Source for a Trans-Ecotonal Sea Ethic. Ethics and the Environment 9 (1):1 - 22.
Peter Kreeft (2006). The Sea Within: Waves and the Meaning of All Things. St. Augustine's Press.
Donald R. Rothwell & Tim Stephens, The Regulation of Southern Ocean Whaling: What Role for the Antarctic Treaty System?
R. F. Grady (1943). Admiral of the Ocean Sea. Thought 18 (1):133-135.
Clement Dore (1991). The Ocean of Truth. Faith and Philosophy 8 (2):256-258.
Added to index2012-10-05
Total downloads5 ( #233,563 of 1,099,707 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #301,057 of 1,099,707 )
How can I increase my downloads?