Journal for General Philosophy of Science 33 (1):151-8 (2002)
|Abstract||Kuhn's ‘taxonomic conception’ of natural kinds enables him to defend and re-specify the notion of incommensurability against the idea that it is reference, not meaning/use, that is overwhelmingly important. Kuhn's ghost still lacks any reason to believe that referentialist essentialism undercuts his central arguments in SSR – and indeed, any reason to believe that such essentialism is even coherent, considered as a doctrine about anything remotely resembling our actual science. The actual relation of Kuhn to Kripke-Putnam essentialism, is as follows: Kuhn decisively undermines it – drawing upon the inadequacies of such essentialism when faced with the failure of attempts to instantiate in history or contemporaneously its ‘thought-experiment’ – and leaves the field open instead for his own more ‘realistic’, deflationary way of thinking about the operation of ‘natural kinds’ in science.|
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