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Profile: Muhammad Ali Khalidi (York University)
  1. Muhammad Ali Khalidi (2013). Natural Categories and Human Kinds. Cambridge University Press.
    Classification in the Natural and Social Sciences Muhammad Ali Khalidi. illustration above, it is not the children themselves who are aware of the theories of the researchers but their parents. Having read reports about the research findings in ...
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  2. Muhammad Ali Khalidi (2013). 8 Naturalizing Kinds. In Bana Bashour Hans Muller (ed.), Contemporary Philosophical Naturalism and its Implications. Routledge. 115.
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  3. Muhammad Ali Khalidi (2013). Three Kinds of Social Kinds. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (1):n/a-n/a.
    Could some social kinds be natural kinds? In this paper, I argue that there are three kinds of social kinds: 1) social kinds whose existence does not depend on human beings having any beliefs or other propositional attitudes towards them (e.g. recession, racism); 2) social kinds whose existence depends in part on specific attitudes that human beings have towards them, though attitudes need not be manifested towards their particular instances (e.g. money, war); 3) social kinds whose existence and that of (...)
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  4. Muhammad Ali Khalidi (2011). The Pitfalls of Microphysical Realism. Philosophy of Science 78 (5):1156-1164.
    Microphysical realism is the position that the only real entities and properties are found at the most fundamental level of nature. In this article, I challenge microphysical realism concerning properties and natural kinds. One argument for microphysical realism about entities, the “nothing-but argument,” does not apply to properties and kinds. Another argument, the “causal exclusion argument,” cannot be sustained in light of modern physics. Moreover, this argument leads to an objection against microphysical realism, based on the “illusoriness of macroproperties.” Another (...)
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  5. Muhammad Ali Khalidi (2010). Interactive Kinds. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (2):335-360.
    This paper examines the phenomenon of ‘interactive kinds’ first identified by Ian Hacking. An interactive kind is one that is created or significantly modified once a concept of it has been formulated and acted upon in certain ways. Interactive kinds may also ‘loop back’ to influence our concepts and classifications. According to Hacking, interactive kinds are found exclusively in the human domain. After providing a general account of interactive kinds and outlining their philosophical significance, I argue that they are not (...)
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  6. Muhammad Ali Khalidi (2009). How Scientific is Scientific Essentialism? Journal for General Philosophy of Science 40 (1):85 - 101.
    Scientific essentialism holds that: (1) each scientific kind is associated with the same set of properties in every possible world; and (2) every individual member of a scientific kind belongs to that kind in every possible world in which it exists. Recently, Ellis (Scientific essentialism, 2001 ; The philosophy of nature 2002 ) has provided the most sustained defense of scientific essentialism, though he does not clearly distinguish these two claims. In this paper, I argue that both claims face a (...)
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  7. Muhammad Ali Khalidi (2009). Should We Eliminate the Innate? Reply to Griffiths and Machery. Philosophical Psychology 22 (4):505 – 519.
    Griffiths and Machery (2008) have argued that innateness is a folk notion that obstructs inquiry and has no place in contemporary science. They support their view by criticizing the canalization account of innateness (Ariew, 1999, 2006). In response, I argue that the criticisms they raise for the canalization account can be avoided by another recent account of innateness, the triggering account, which provides an analysis of the concept as it applies to cognitive capacities (Khalidi, 2002, 2007; Stich, 1975). I also (...)
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  8. Muhammad Ali Khalidi (2009). The Arab Street: Tracking a Political Metaphor. Middle East Journal 63 (1):11-29.
    Understanding Arab public opinion is central to the search for sustainable po- litical solutions in the Middle East. The way Westerners think about Arab public opinion may be affected by how it is referred to in their news media. Here, we show that Arab public opinion is rarely referred to as such in the US media. Instead, it is usually referred to as the Arab street, a metaphor that casts Arab public opinion as irrational and volatile. We trace the origins (...)
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  9. Muhammad Ali Khalidi (2008). Temporal and Counterfactual Possibility. Sorites 20:37-42.
    Among philosophers working on modality, there is a common assumption that there is a strong connection between temporal possibility and counterfactual possibility. For example, Sydney Shoemaker 1998, 69 70) writes: It seems to me a general feature of our thought about possibility that how we think that something could have differed from how it in fact is [is] closely related to how we think that the way something is at one time could differ from the way that same thing is (...)
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  10. Muhammad Ali Khalidi (2007). Innate Cognitive Capacities. Mind and Language 22 (1):92-115.
    This paper attempts to articulate a dispositional account of innateness that applies to cognitive capacities. After criticizing an alternative account of innateness proposed by Cowie (1999) and Samuels (2002), the dispositional account of innateness is explicated and defended against a number of objections. The dispositional account states that an innate cognitive capacity (output) is one that has a tendency to be triggered as a result of impoverished environmental conditions (input). Hence, the challenge is to demonstrate how the input can be (...)
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  11. Muhammad Ali Khalidi (2005). Against Functional Reductionism in Cognitive Science. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 19 (3):319 – 333.
    Functional reductionism concerning mental properties has recently been advocated by Jaegwon Kim in order to solve the problem of the 'causal exclusion' of the mental. Adopting a reductionist strategy first proposed by David Lewis, he regards psychological properties as being 'higher-order' properties functionally defined over 'lower-order' properties, which are causally efficacious. Though functional reductionism is compatible with the multiple realizability of psychological properties, it is blocked if psychological properties are subdivided or crosscut by neurophysiological properties. I argue that there is (...)
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  12. Muhammad Ali Khalidi (ed.) (2005). Medieval Islamic Philosophical Writings. Cambridge University Press.
    Philosophy in the Islamic world emerged in the ninth century and continued to flourish into the fourteenth century. It was strongly influenced by Greek thought, but Islamic philosophers also developed an original philosophical culture of their own, which had a considerable impact on the subsequent course of Western philosophy. This volume offers new translations of philosophical writings by Farabi, Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Ghazali, Ibn Tufayl, and Ibn Rushd (Averroes). All of the texts presented here were very influential and invite comparison (...)
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  13. Muhammad Ali Khalidi (2005). Book Review Natural Kinds and Conceptual Change. [REVIEW] Philosophy of Science 72 (3):519-523.
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  14. Ian Hacking & Muhammad Ali Khalidi (2003). Book Reviews-Historical Ontology. Philosophy of Science 70 (2):449-451.
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  15. Muhammad Ali Khalidi (2003). Al-Fārābi on the Democratic City. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 11 (3):379 – 394.
    This essay will explore some of al-Farabı’s paradoxical remarks on the nature and status of the democratic city (al-madınah al-jama`ıyyah). In describing this type of non-virtuous city, Farabı departs significantly from Plato, according the democratic city a superior standing and casting it in a more positive light. Even though at one point Farabı follows Plato in considering the timocratic city to be the best of the imperfect cities, at another point he implies that the democratic city occupies this position. Since (...)
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  16. Muhammad Ali Khalidi (2002). Nature and Nurture in Cognition. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 53 (2):251-272.
    This paper advocates a dispositional account of innate cognitive capacities, which has an illustrious history from Plato to Chomsky. The ?triggering model? of innateness, first made explicit by Stich ([1975]), explicates the notion in terms of the relative informational content of the stimulus (input) and the competence (output). The advantage of this model of innateness is that it does not make a problematic reference to normal conditions and avoids relativizing innate traits to specific populations, as biological models of innateness are (...)
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  17. Muhammad Ali Khalidi (2001). Dynamics in Action. Philosophical Review 110 (3):469-472.
  18. Muhammad Ali Khalidi (2001). Innateness and Domain-Specificity. Philosophical Studies 105 (2):191-210.
    There is a widespread assumption in cognitive science that there is anintrinsic link between the phenomena of innateness and domainspecificity. Many authors seem to hold that given the properties ofthese two phenomena, it follows that innate mental states aredomain-specific, or that domain-specific states are innate. My aim inthis paper is to argue that there are no convincing grounds forasserting either claim. After introducing the notions of innateness anddomain specificity, I consider some possible arguments for theconclusion that innate cognitive states are (...)
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  19. Muhammad Ali Khalidi (1999). Incommensurability. In W. H. Newton-Smith (ed.), A Companion to Philosophy of Science. Blackwell. 172-80.
  20. Muhammad Ali Khalidi (1998). Averroes's Method of Re-Interpretation. International Philosophical Quarterly 38 (2):175-185.
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  21. Muhammad Ali Khalidi (1998). Incommensurability in Cognitive Guise. Philosophical Psychology 11 (1):29 – 43.
    Philosophers and historians of science have made the claim that successive scientific theories are incommensurable, that is, that many or all of their concepts fail to coincide. This claim has been echoed by cognitive psychologists who have applied it to the successive conceptual schemes of young children, or of children and adults. This paper examines the psychological evidence for the claim and proposes ways of reinterpreting it which do not involve imputing incommensurability. An alternative approach to understanding conceptual change is (...)
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  22. Muhammad Ali Khalidi (1998). Natural Kinds and Crosscutting Categories. Journal of Philosophy 95 (1):33-50.
    There arc many questions that 0nc can ask about categories in scicncc and in common scnsc, and ther are many ways cf construing the claim that some categories arc more “riatural" than Others. One can ask whether a system cnf categories is innate (for cxamplc, up/down) cnr acquired by learning (bcurgcolsic/proletariat], whcthcr it is thccrctically based (vcrtabratc/nonvcrtcbratc) O1' ad hoc (under onc kilogram/over 0nc kilogram), whether it pcrnalns no a natural phenomenon (plant/animal) or to a social insmituticm {lcgal/lllcgal), whether in (...)
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  23. Muhammad Ali Khalidi (1997). Taxonomy: Psychological and Biological. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 12 (2):275-280.
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  24. Muhammad Ali Khalidi (1995). Two Concepts of Concept. Mind and Language 10 (4):402-22.
    Two main theories of concepts have emerged in the recent psychological literature: the Prototype Theory (which considers concepts to be self-contained lists of features) and the Theory Theory (which conceives of them as being embedded within larger theoretical networks). Experiments supporting the first theory usually differ substantially from those supporting the second, which suggests that these the· ories may be operating at different levels of explanation and dealing with different entities. A convergence is proposed between the Theory Theory and the (...)
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  25. Muhammad Ali Khalidi (1993). Book Reviews. [REVIEW] Mind 102 (408):650-654.
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  26. Muhammad Ali Khalidi (1993). Carving Nature at the Joints. Philosophy of Science 60 (1):100-113.
    This paper discusses a philosophical issue in taxonomy. At least one philosopher has suggested thc taxonomic principle that scientific kinds are disjoint. An opposing position is dcfcndcd here by marshalling examples of nondisjoint categories which belong to different, cocxisting classification schcmcs. This dcnial of thc disjoinmcss principle can bc recast as thc claim that scientific classification is "int<-:rcst—rclativc". But why would anyone have held that scientific categories arc disjoint in the first place'? It is argued that this assumption is nccdcd (...)
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