David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Croatian Journal of Philosophy 9 (2):167-190 (2009)
Natural kinds have been a constant topic in philosophy throughout its history, but many issues pertaining to natural kinds still remain unresolved. This paper considers one of these issues: the epistemic role of natural kinds in scientific investigation. I begin by clarifying what is at stake for an individual scientific field when asking whether or not the field studies a natural kind. I use an example from life science, concerning how biologists explain the similar body shapes of fish and cetaceans, to show that natural kinds play a central epistemic role in scientific explanations that cannot be delegated to other explanatory factors. A task for philosophy, then, is to come up with a theory of natural kinds that adequately accounts for the epistemic role of natural kinds in science. After having sketched the spectrum of available philosophical theories of natural kinds, I argue that none of the available theories adequately performs this task and that therefore the search is still open for a theory that does.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
L. R. Franklin-Hall (2015). Natural Kinds as Categorical Bottlenecks. Philosophical Studies 172 (4):925-948.
Miles MacLeod & Thomas A. C. Reydon (2013). Natural Kinds in Philosophy and in the Life Sciences: Scholastic Twilight or New Dawn? [REVIEW] Biological Theory 7 (2):89-99.
Similar books and articles
Thomas Reydon (2009). How to Fix Kind Membership: A Problem for Hpc Theory and a Solution. Philosophy of Science 76 (5):724-736.
Ronald De Sousa (1984). The Natural Shiftiness of Natural Kinds. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 14 (4):561 - 580.
Ingo Brigandt (2009). Natural Kinds in Evolution and Systematics: Metaphysical and Epistemological Considerations. Acta Biotheoretica 57 (1-2):77-97.
Stefan Dragulinescu (2012). The Problem of Processes and Transitions: Are Diseases Phase Kinds? [REVIEW] Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 15 (1):79-89.
Stefan Dragulinescu (2010). Diseases as Natural Kinds. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 31 (5):347-369.
P. D. Magnus (2012). Scientific Enquiry and Natural Kinds: From Planets to Mallards. Palgrave Macmillan.
Kathrin Koslicki (2008). Natural Kinds and Natural Kind Terms. Philosophy Compass 3 (4):789-802.
John Collier (1996). On the Necessity of Natural Kinds. In P. Riggs (ed.), Natural Kinds, Laws of Nature and Scientific Methodology. Kluwer Academic Publishers 1-10.
Rachel Cooper (2004). Why Hacking is Wrong About Human Kinds. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (1):73-85.
John S. Wilkins (2013). Biological Essentialism and the Tidal Change of Natural Kinds. Science and Education 22 (2):221-240.
Neil E. Williams (2011). Arthritis and Nature's Joints. In Michael O'Rourke, Joseph Keim Campbell & Matthew H. Slater (eds.), Carving Nature at its Joints. MIT Press
Muhammad Ali Khalidi (2015). Three Kinds of Social Kinds. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (1):96-112.
Brian Ellas (1996). Natural Kinds and Natural Kind Reasoning. In Peter J. Riggs (ed.), Natural Kinds, Laws of Nature and Scientific Methodology. Kluwer 11-28.
Added to index2011-01-09
Total downloads48 ( #84,176 of 1,790,408 )
Recent downloads (6 months)10 ( #83,768 of 1,790,408 )
How can I increase my downloads?