Derogatoryterms (racist, sexist, ethnic, and homophobic epithets) are bully words with ontological force: they serve to establish and maintain a corrupt social system fuelled by distinctions designed to justify relations of dominance and subordination. No wonder they have occasioned public outcry and legal response. The inferential role analysis developed here helps move us away from thinking of the harms as being located in connotation (representing mere speaker bias) or denotation (holding that the terms fail to refer (...) due to inaccurate descriptive content). The issue is not bad attitudes or referential misfires. An inferential role semantic analysis of derogatoryterms shows exactly what is at stake between those who argue that the terms should be eliminated (Absolutists) and those who claim they can be successfully rehabilitated (Reclaimers). The Reclaimer maintains, and the Absolutist denies, that certain contexts can detach the derogatory force from deeply derogatoryterms. The article looks at these claims with respect to ‘nigger’ and ‘dyke,’ setting out the inferential role of each term and examining detachability potential. Explaining detachability in terms of linguistic commitments, this article also addresses the issue of whether such terms count as political discourse, and examines the implications of that issue. (shrink)
This chapter examines the role played by derogatoryterms (e.g., ‘inyenzi’ or cockroach, ‘inzoka’ or snake) in laying the social groundwork for the genocide of the Tutsi in Rwanda in 1994. The genocide was preceded by an increase in the use of anti-Tutsi derogatoryterms among the Hutu. As these linguistic practices evolved, the terms became more openly and directly aimed at Tutsi. Then, during the 100 days of the genocide, derogatoryterms and (...) coded euphemisms were used to direct killers to their victims. Understanding these speech acts helps to illuminate the important ways that power is enacted through discourse, how speech acts can prepare the way for physical and material acts, and how speech generates permissions for actions hitherto uncountenanced. Studying the role of speech acts and linguistic practices in laying the groundwork of the genocide illuminates how patterns of speech acts become linguistic practices that constitute permissibility conditions for non-linguistic behaviors. Further, the analysis presented here helps to make sense of the view that a steady, deep, and widespread derogation of a group can be part and parcel of genocide, not only an antecedent to it. (shrink)
Drawing on my recent work using inferential role semantics and elements of speech act theory to analyze the role of derogatoryterms (a.k.a. ‘hate speech’, or ‘slurs’) in the 1994 genocide of the Tutsi in Rwanda, as well as the role of certain kinds of reparative speech acts in post-genocide Rwanda, this paper highlights key pragmatist commitments that inform the methods and goals of this practical analysis of real world events. In “Genocidal Language Games”, I used conceptual tools (...) from Wittgenstein, Sellars, Lewis, and Brandom, with a nod to Searle’s concept of status-functions, to develop an analysis that helps to make sense of the view that a steady, deep, and widespread derogation of a group can at least partially constitute genocide, not only be an antecedent to it. In this paper, I sketch some of the tools and lessons of this project, with an eye to highlighting their pragmatist roots and the directions to which such real-world investigations lead. (shrink)
This paper considers the problem of assigning meanings to empty natural kind terms. It does so in the context of the Twin-Earth externalist-internalist debate about whether the meanings of natural kind terms are individuated by the external physical environment of the speakers using these terms. The paper clarifies and outlines the different ways in which meanings could be assigned to empty natural kind terms. And it argues that externalists do not have the semantic resources to assign (...) them meanings. The paper ends on a sceptical note concerning the fruitfulness of using the Twin-Earth setting in debates about the semantics of empty natural kind terms. (shrink)
A paradigmatic case of rigidity for singular terms is that of proper names. And it would seem that a paradigmatic case of rigidity for general terms is that of natural kind terms. However, many philosophers think that rigidity cannot be extended from singular terms to general terms. The reason for this is that rigidity appears to become trivial when such terms are considered: natural kind terms come out as rigid, but so do all (...) other general terms, and in particular all descriptive general terms. This paper offers an account of rigidity for natural kind terms which does not trivialise in this way. On this account, natural kind terms are de jure obstinately rigid designators and other general terms, such as descriptive general terms, are not. (shrink)
The problem of empty terms is one of the focal issues in analytic philosophy. Russell’s theory of descriptions, a proposal attempting to solve this problem, attracted much attention and is considered a hallmark of the analytic tradition. Scholars of Indian and Buddhist philosophy, e.g., McDermott, Matilal, Shaw and Perszyk, have studied discussions of empty terms in Indian and Buddhist philosophy. But most of these studies rely heavily on the Nyāya or Navya-Nyāya sources, in which Buddhists are portrayed as (...) opponents to be defeated, and thus do not truly reflect Buddhist views on this issue. The present paper will explore how Dignāga, the founder of Buddhist logic, deals with the issue of empty subject terms. His approach is subtle and complicated. On the one hand, he proposes a method of paraphrase that resembles Russell’s theory of descriptions. On the other, by relying on his philosophy of language—the apoha theory, he tends to fall into a panfictionalism. Through the efforts of his follower Dharmakīrti, the latter approach would become more acceptable among Indian and Tibetan Buddhists. Dignāga’s Chinese commentators, who were free from the influence of Dharmakīrti, dealt with the empty term issue in three ways: (1) by adhering to Dignāga’s method of paraphrase; (2) by allowing exceptions for non-implicative negation; and (3) by indicating the propositional attitude of a given proposition. Among these, the third proved most popular. (shrink)
Ethicists are typically willing to grant that thick terms (e.g. ‘courageous’ and ‘murder’) are somehow associated with evaluations. But they tend to disagree about what exactly this relationship is. Does a thick term’s evaluation come by way of its semantic content? Or is the evaluation pragmatically associated with the thick term (e.g. via conversational implicature)? In this paper, I argue that thick terms are semantically associated with evaluations. In particular, I argue that many thick concepts (if not all) (...) conceptually entail evaluative contents. The Semantic View has a number of outspoken critics, but I shall limit discussion to the most recent--Pekka Väyrynen--who believes that objectionable thick concepts present a problem for the Semantic View. After advancing my positive argument in favor of the Semantic View (section II), I argue that Väyrynen’s attack is unsuccessful (section III). One reason ethicists cite for not focusing on thick concepts is that such concepts are supposedly not semantically evaluative whereas traditional thin concepts (e.g. good and wrong) are. But if my view is correct, then this reason must be rejected. (shrink)
In lecture III of Naming and Necessity, Kripke extends his claim that names are non-descriptive to natural kind terms, and in so doing includes a brief supporting discussion of terms for natural phenomena, in particular the terms ‘light’ and ‘heat’. Whilst natural kind terms continue to feature centrally in the recent literature, natural phenomenon terms have barely figured. The purpose of the present paper is to show how the apparent similarities between natural kind terms (...) and the natural phenomenon terms on which Kripke focuses are outweighed by more significant differences. Thus, rather than providing additional support for non-descriptivism, natural phenomenon terms turn out to challenge that thesis. (shrink)
The paper argues that an important class of aesthetic terms cannot be used as metaphors because it is impossible to commit a category mistake with them. It then uses this fact to provide a general definition of 'aesthetic property'.
This article analyses the tradition of “articulating xing in terms of sheng ” and related other expressions, and also examines the debate between Mencius and Gaozi concerning “ xing is known by sheng .” It claims that while Mencius’ “human nature is good” discourse is influenced by the interpretive tradition of “articulating xing in terms of sheng ”, Mencius also transcends and develops this tradition. Therefore it is only when Mencius’ views about the goodness of human nature are (...) understood in the context of this interpretive tradition that his ideas can be fully understood. Utilizing this framework, the Confucian understanding of rights is then explored. (shrink)
This paper addresses recent literature on rigid designation and natural kind terms that draws on the inferentialist approaches of Sellars and Brandom, among others. Much of the orthodox literature on rigidity may be seen as appealing, more or less explicitly, to a semantic form of “the given” in Sellars’s terms. However, the important insights of that literature may be reconstructed and articulated in terms more congenial to the Pittsburgh school of normative functionalism.
According to Putnam the reference of natural kind terms is fixed by the world, at least partly; whether two things belong to the same kind depends on whether they obey the same objective laws. We show that Putnam's criterion of substance identity only “works” if we read “objective laws” as “OBJECTIVE LAWS”. Moreover, at least some of the laws of some of the special sciences have to be included. But what we consider to be good special sciences and what (...) not depends upon our values. Hence, “objective laws” cannot be read as “OBJECTIVE LAWS”. It follows that the reference of natural kind terms cannot be fixed by the world, not even partly. The final conclusion applies to a variety of realisms. (shrink)
Since Hilary Putnam and Saul Kripke's first attacks on traditional, descriptivist theories of natural kind terms, it has become customary to speak of the ‘Putnam-Kripke’ view of meaning and reference. This article argues that this is a mistake, and that Putnam's account of natural kind terms is importantly different from that of Kripke. In particular, Putnam has from the very start been sceptical of Kripke's modal claims, and in later papers he explicitly rejects the proposal that theoretical identity (...) statements are metaphysically necessary (if true). I suggest that this is wholly in line with Putnam's earlier, Quine-inspired writings on general terms, and his preoccupation with the philosophy of science. Moreover, I argue that the picture of general terms that emerges from Putnam's writings is more plausible than that suggested by Kripke. However, contrary to Putnam, I also suggest that Putnam's later views on natural kinds and natural kind terms do not support standard Twin Earth externalism. (shrink)
This article analyses the tradition of "articulating xing in terms of sheng" and related other expressions, and also examines the debate between Mencius and Gaozi concerning "xing is known by sheng" It claims that while Mencius' "human nature is good" discourse is influenced by the interpretive tradition of "articulating xing in terms of sheng", Mencius also transcends and develops this tradition. Therefore it is only when Mencius' views about the goodness of human nature are understood in the context (...) of this interpretive tradition that his ideas can be fully understood. Utilizing this framework, the Confucian understanding of rights is then explored. /// 通过对"以生言性"的传统及其不同命题表述的详尽分析，对孟子、告子"生 之谓性"的辩论做出梳理，指出孟子性善论一方面受到了"以生言性"传统的影响， 另一方面则超越、发展了这一传统，故只有将孟子性善论放在"以生言性"的传统 下才能得到真正的理解。从这一角度出发，为探讨儒家的权利观念提供了可能。. (shrink)
According to Michael Devitt, the primary work of a rigidity distinction for kind terms is to distinguish non-descriptional predicates from descriptional predicates. The standard conception of rigidity fails to do this work when it is extended to kind terms. Against the standard conception, Devitt defends rigid application: a predicate is a rigid applier iff, if it applies to an object in one world, it applies to that object in every world in which it exists. Devitt maintains that rigid (...) application does the job of identifying nondescriptional predicates perfectly. I argue that Devitt is wrong about this. When we examine more closely alternative theories about the identity and persistence conditions of those entities to which mass terms apply, we find no plausible theory that has the result that a term is rigid iff it is non- descriptional. (shrink)
Legal terms have a special status at the interface between language and law. Adopting the general framework developed by Jackendoff and the concepts competence and performance as developed by Chomsky, it is shown that legal terms cannot be fully accounted for unless we set up a category of abstract objects. This idea corresponds largely to the classical view of terminology, which has been confronted with some challenges recently. It is shown that for legal terms, arguments against abstract (...) objects are not pertinent. As abstract objects are not natural, it is important to consider their creation. Two types of creation are distinguished and illustrated, one for new concepts and one for terms corresponding to existing general language concepts. In the latter case, it is important for the abstract object to remain close enough to the intuitive prototype. At the same time, legal terms as abstract objects are shown to have a natural place in relation to legal theory. (shrink)
In this paper we 1. provide a natural deduction system for full first-order linear logic, 2. introduce Curry-Howard-style terms for this version of linear logic, 3. extend the notion of substitution of Curry-Howardterms for term variables, 4. define the reduction rules for the Curry-Howardterms and 5. outline a proof of the strong normalization for the full system of linear logic using a development of Girard's candidates for reducibility, thereby providing an alternative to (...) Girard's proof using proof-nets. (shrink)
The present study starts from the question if there can be any logic of religion. The answer is affirmative for logic in a wide sense. The attempts from the logic of beliefs account for this. However, the study focuses on the specific of the logic of religious terms, a less approached domain by logicians and philosophers. In this line issues like those of the logic of analogy, of the distinctions between the specific, general and total content of terms, (...) between logical distributive and collective conjunctions, etc are brought into discussion. In the end, dogmatic concepts are analyzed, as the core of religious concepts. (shrink)
We defend the view that defines the rigidity of general terms as sameness of designated universal across possible worlds from the objection that such a characterization is incapable of distinguishing rigid from non-rigid readings of general terms and, thus, that it trivializes the notion of rigidity. We also argue that previous attempts to offer a solution to the trivialization problem do no succeed.
Derogatoryterms (racist, sexist, ethnic epithets) have long played various roles and achieved diverse ends in works of art. Focusing on basic aspects of an aesthetic object or work, this article examines the interpretive relation between point of view and content, asking how aesthetic contextualization shapes the impact of such terms. Can context, particularly aesthetic contexts, detach the derogatory force from powerful epithets and racist and sexist images? What would it be about aesthetic contexts that would (...) make this possible? The article puts into aesthetic contexts both Absolutist and Reclaimer views about the power of derogatoryterms, applying an inferential role semantics, developed for language, to both words and images. The Reclaimer’s position, that derogation is a matter of pragmatics, of use, emphasizes the context-sensitivity of the term, that is matters who says it, to whom, when, where, and why. Understanding derogatoryterms used as hate speech helps to make this position clear. The Absolutist’s position, that no contextual variations can detach the derogation from these deeply derogatoryterms, is developed here through attention to subordinating images in pornography. The article argues that art may be able to achieve the deviant interpretations that the Reclaimer needs to undermine the derogations while maintaining sensitivity and awareness of the history of oppression. (shrink)
Making sense of MacKinnon’s claim that pornography silences women requires attention to the discursive and interpretive frameworks that pornography establishes and promotes. Treating pornography as a form of hate speech is promising, but also limited. A close examination of a legal case, in which pornographic images were used to sexually harass, focuses on the hate speech analogy while illustrating the broad and lasting impact of such depictions when targeted at an individual. Applying the distinction between Absolutist and Reclaimer approaches to (...) hate speech and derogatoryterms, the article concludes with a discussion of the possibility of creative development of discursive practices within a context that undermines the semantic authority of members of certain groups. (shrink)
Obnoxious labels are derogatoryterms which speak extensively on the ignorant dispositions of scholars who either rush into faulty conclusions, or have prior decisions to promote class distinction through the uncomplimentary colours they paint of what others hold as divine, spiritual, and transcendental. For such derogatoryterms to gain wide audience in a globalized age explain the frame of mind of discordant voices which have been based on arm-chair scholarship. The thrust of this article therefore, is (...) to use Igbo experience to explore the problems of atheism and humanism in a globalized world. The exploratory research will help adopt cultural centred approach in analyzing the dichotomy between the various philosophical view points on God, spirits and man’s religious belief system in Igbo land in particular and Africa in general. It is hoped that the analyses of the challenges posed by atheism and humanism in a globalized world will balance ideas, views, attitudes and behaviour that will reposition Igbo religious beliefs, values and practices in line with the proposed theistic humanism associated with Igbo culture in particular and African culture in general. This will breach the persisted conflict between the sacred and the secular pointing to a dynamic and progressive Igbo culture. (shrink)
Kripke and Putnam have convinced most philosophers that we cannot do metaphysics of nature by analysing the senses of natural kind terms -- simply because natural kind terms do not have senses. Neo-descriptivists, especially Frank Jackson and David Chalmers, believe that this view is mistaken. Merging classical descriptivism with a Kaplan-inspired two-dimensional framework, neo-descriptivists devise a semantics for natural kind terms that assigns natural kind terms so-called 'primary intensions'. Since primary intensions are senses by other names, (...) Jackson and Chalmers conclude that we can and should do metaphysics of nature by analysing the natural kind concepts competent speakers possess. I argue that neo-descriptivism does not provide a suitable basis for doing this kind of metaphysics. I first of all give a detailed account of the neo-descriptivist semantics and deflate the intuitive support neo-descriptivists try to draw from their case of the XYZ-world. I then present three arguments -- the Argument from Ignorance, the Argument from Conceptual Analysis, and the Argument from Laziness. Taken together, these arguments undermine the neo-descriptivist analysis of natural kind terms. I conclude that natural kind terms do not have senses, that we cannot do metaphysics of nature by analysing the senses of our kind terms, and that the Kripke-Putnam account still provides the best semantics for natural kind terms we have. (shrink)
Many still seem confident that the kind of semantic theory Putnam once proposed for natural kind terms is right. This paper seeks to show that this confidence is misplaced because the general idea underlying the theory is incoherent. Consequently, the theory must be rejected prior to any consideration of its epistemological, ontological or metaphysical acceptability. Part I sets the stage by showing that falsehoods, indeed absurdities, follow from the theory when one deliberately suspends certain devices Putnam built into it (...) , presumably in order to block such entailments. Part II then raises the decisive issue of at what cost these devices do the job they need to do. It argues that - apart from possessing no other motivation than their capacity to block the consequences derived in Part I - they only fulfil this blocking function if they render the theory unable to deal with fiction and related 'make-believe' activities. Part III indicates the affinity Putnam's account has with the classically 'denotative' view of meaning, and thus how its weaknesses may be seen as a variant of the classical weakness of 'denotative' approaches. It concludes that the theory is a conceptual muddle. (shrink)
In this paper, I will outline some of the important points made by Kripke and Putnam on the meaning of natural kind terms. Their notion of the baptism of natural kinds- the process by which kind terms are initially introduced into the language â is of special concern here. I argue that their accounts leave some ambiguities that suggest a baptism of objects and kinds that is free of additional theoretical commitments. Both authors suggest that we name the (...) stuff and then let the scientists tell us what properties it really has, and hence what the real meaning is. I contend that such a barren baptism, taken at face value, cannot succeed in the semantic roles it has been assigned and that softening the stance on baptism suggests a more subtle and complex relation between reference and theoretical commitment than has emerged thus far. (shrink)
Temporal externalism (TE) is the thesis (defended by Jackman (1999)) that the contents of some of an individual’s thoughts and utterances at time t may be determined by linguistic developments subsequent to t. TE has received little discussion so far, Brown 2000 and Stoneham 2002 being exceptions. I defend TE by arguing that it solves several related problems concerning the extension of natural kind terms in scientifically ignorant communities. Gary Ebbs (2000) argues that no theory can reconcile our ordinary, (...) practical judgments of sameness of extension over time with the claim that linguistic usage determines word extensions. I argue that Ebbs shows at most that no theory other than TE can effect this reconciliation. Furthermore, while Ebbs’ argument undermines Jessica Brown’s solutions to two closely related problems about natural kind term extensions (Brown 1998), TE can solve both problems without difficulty. Some criticisms of TE are briefly addressed as well. (shrink)
The aim is to uncover the foundations of quine's distinction between definite singular terms and general terms in predicative position, And hence of the general schema of predication, 'fx'. While each term in such a predication specifies its own item, The items so specified exhibit a typical difference exemplified in the basic case by the difference between spatio-Temporal particulars and properties of such particulars. A generally consequential difference of role is that while both terms are applied to (...) the item of lower type, Only the definite singular term has the function of identifying it. (shrink)
Are sensation ascriptions descriptive, even in the first person present tense? Do sensation terms refer to, denote, sensations, so that truth and falsity of sensation ascriptions depend on the properties of the denoted sensations? That is, do sensation terms have a denotational semantics? As I understand it, this is denied by Wittgenstein. Wittgenstein rejects the idea of a denotational semantics for public language sensation terms, such as.
In his recent article, ``Self-Consciousness', George Bealer has set outa novel and interesting argument against functionalism in the philosophyof mind. I shall attempt to show, however, that Bealer's argument cannotbe sustained.In arguing for this conclusion, I shall be defending three main theses.The first is connected with the problem of defining theoreticalpredicates that occur in theories where the following two features arepresent: first, the theoretical predicate in question occurswithin both extensional and non-extensional contexts; secondly, thetheory in question asserts that the relevant (...) theoretical states enterinto causal relations. What I shall argue is that a Ramsey-styleapproach to the definition of such theoretical terms requires twodistinct quantifiers: one which ranges over concepts, and theother which ranges over properties in the world. (shrink)
Contemporary orthodoxy affirms that singular terms cannot be predicates and that, therefore, ‘is’ is ambiguous as between predication and identity. Recent attempts to treat names as predicates do not challenge this orthodoxy. The orthodoxy was built into the structure of modern formal logic by Frege. It is defended by arguments which I show to be unsound. I provide a semantical account of atomic sentences which draws upon Mill's account of predication, connotation and denotation. I show that singular terms (...) may be predicates, that it is highly implausible that there is an ‘is’ of identity in natural languages, and that modern formal logic is deficient in that it cannot recognize sentences, including singular existentials, in which singular terms are predicates, or inferences which depend upon the logical role rather than the logical category of expressions. (shrink)
In the notoriously obscure “Gray’s Elegy Argument” (GEA) of “On Denoting”, Russell argues against the theory of denoting concepts which he had set out in his earlier work The Principles of Mathematics (PoM). Nathan Salmon has argued that the GEA is intended to demonstrate the falsity of the thesis that definite descriptions are singular terms, a view which he attributes to the Russell of PoM. In a similar vein, Peter Hylton has argued that we can make sense of the (...) GEA by attributing to the early Russell the principle of truth-value dependence. In this paper I argue that Russell was committed to neither of these positions. If Salmon and Hylton mischaracterise Russell’s position in PoM, then they also, I suggest, mischaracterise the GEA. I close, therefore, by suggesting how my account of the relation between the theory of denoting concepts and Russell’s position in “On Denoting” can guide our approach to the GEA. (shrink)
Some materialists argue that we can eliminate mental entities such as sensations because, like electrons, they are theoretical entities postulated as parts of scientific explanations, but, unlike electrons, they are unnecessary for such explanations. As Quine says, any explanatory role of mental entities can be played by "correlative physiological states and events instead." But sensations are not postulated theoretical entities. This is shown by proposing definitions of the related terms, 'observation term,' and 'theoretical term,' and then classifying the term (...) 'sensation.' The result is that although 'sensation' is a theoretical term, it is also a reporting term because it is used to refer to phenomena we are aware of. Consequently sensations are not postulated and cannot be eliminated merely because they are unnecessary for explanation. (shrink)
Dummett defines a ‘predicate’ as that which combines with one or more singular terms to form a sentence. His account of ‘singular term’ is syntactical, involving three necessary conditions. He discusses a fourth, ‘Aristotelian’, criterion before propounding a criterion of predicate quantification which he claims to be superior to it. He tentatively proposes that the three necessary conditions plus the criterion of predicate quantification yield sufficient conditions for being a singular term. I show that Dummett’s necessary conditions fail with (...) regard to referentially opaque contexts, negative existentials and wide-scope negations, and that he overlooks an important class of predicative expressions that satisfy his three supposedly necessary conditions for singular terms, namely, those that may appear either as adjectives or as nouns. I argue that Dummett cannot use the ‘Aristotelian’ criterion without circularity; and that, in any case, the ‘Aristotelian’ criterion fails dramatically. I also show that his criterion of predicate quantification fails with regard to expressions for colours. I end by casting doubts on the adequacy of any purely syntactical approach. (shrink)
The implicational fragment of the relevance logic "ticket entailment" is closely related to the so-called hereditary right maximal terms. I prove that the terms that need to be considered as inhabitants of the types which are theorems of $T_\rightarrow$ are in normal form and built in all but one casefrom B, B' and W only. As a tool in the proof ordered term rewriting systems are introduced. Based on the main theorem I define $FIT_\rightarrow$ - a Fitch-style calculus (...) (related to $FT_\rightarrow$ ) for the implicational fragment of ticket entailment. (shrink)
Terms such as ‘exist’, ‘actual’, etc., (hereafter, “ontic terms”) are recognized as having ontologically neutral or non-commissive uses, besides their standard commissive uses. (Consider, e.g., the two interpretations of ‘There is an even prime.’) In this paper, I identify six different non-commissive uses for ontic terms, and along the way I attempt to define (by a kind of via negativa) the commissive use of an ontic term, specifically, the commissive use of ‘actual’. The problem, however, is that (...) the resulting definiens for the commissive ‘actual’ is itself equivocal between a commissive and a non-commissive reading, and thus I consider other proposals for defining the commissive use, including two proposals from David Lewis. However, each proposal is found to be equivocal in the same way--and eventually I argue that it is impossible to define an ontic term unequivocally. Even so, this is not meant to overshadow the fact that we can understand an ontic term as univocally commissive, in certain conversational contexts. I close by applying these observations to the Hirsch-Sider debate in metaontology. (shrink)
Both realists and instrumentalists have found it difficult to understand (much less accept) Carnap's developed view on theoretical terms, which attempts to stake out a neutral position between realism and instrumentalism. I argue that Carnap's mature conception of a scientific theory as the conjunction of its Ramsey sentence and Carnap sentence can indeed achieve this neutral position. To see this, however, we need to see why the Newman problem raised in the context of recent work on structural realism is (...) no problem for Carnap's conception; and we also need to locate Carnap's work on theoretical terms within his wider program of Wissenschaftslogik or the logic of science. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to illustrate how a belief in the existence of kinds may be justified for the particular case of natural kinds: particularly noteworthy in this respect is the weight borne by scientific natural kinds (e.g., physical, chemical, and biological kinds) in (i) inductive arguments; (ii) the laws of nature; and (iii) causal explanations. It is argued that biological taxa are properly viewed as kinds as well, despite the fact that they have been by some alleged (...) to be individuals. Since it turns out that the arguments associated with the standard Kripke/Putnam semantics for natural kind terms only establish the non-descriptiveness of natural kind terms and not their rigidity, the door is open to analyze these terms as denoting traditional predicate-extensions. Finally, special issues raised by physical and chemical kinds are considered briefly, in particular impurities, isotopes and the threat of incommensurability. (shrink)
Over the last thirty years there have been a number of attempts to analyse the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic properties in terms of the facts about naturalness. This article discusses the three most influential of these attempts, each of which involve David Lewis. These are Lewis's 1983 analysis, his 1986 analysis, and his joint 1998 analysis with Rae Langton.