David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophia 38 (1):217-223 (2010)
There is an assumption common in the philosophy of mind literature that kinds in our sciences—or causal kinds, at least—are individuated by the causal powers that objects have in virtue of the properties they instantiate. While this assumption might not be problematic by itself, some authors take the assumption to mean that falling under a kind and instantiating a property amount to the same thing. I call this assumption the “Property-Kind Individuation Principle”. A problem with this principle arises because there are cases where we can sort objects by their possession of common causal powers, and yet those objects do not intuitively form a causal kind. In this short note, I discuss why the Property-Kind Individuation Principle is thus not a warranted metaphysical assumption.
|Keywords||Causal powers Property individuation Property-Kind Individuation Principle Spurious kinds|
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D. M. Armstrong (1997). A World of States of Affairs. Cambridge University Press.
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Lenny Clapp (2001). Disjunctive Properties. Journal of Philosophy 98 (3):111 - 136.
Jerry A. Fodor (1987). Psychosemantics: The Problem of Meaning in the Philosophy of Mind. MIT Press.
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Citations of this work BETA
Brandon N. Towl (2012). Laws and Constrained Kinds: A Lesson From Motor Neuroscience. Synthese 189 (3):433-450.
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