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  1. Essentialism in Biology.John S. Wilkins - manuscript
    Essentialism in philosophy is the position that things, especially kinds of things, have essences, or sets of properties, that all members of the kind must have, and the combination of which only members of the kind do, in fact, have. It is usually thought to derive from classical Greek philosophy and in particular from Aristotle’s notion of “what it is to be” something. In biology, it has been claimed that pre-evolutionary views of living kinds, or as they are sometimes called, (...)
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  2. Natural kinds in biology.Mark Ereshefsky - manuscript
    It is commonly held that objects in the world form natural kinds. Rabbits form a natural kind and so do all pieces of gold. The traditional account of natural kinds asserts that the members of a kind share a common essence. The essence of gold, for example, is its unique atomic structure. That structure occurs in all and only pieces of gold, and it is a property that all pieces of gold must have.
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  3. Disagreement & classification in comparative cognitive science.Alexandria Boyle - forthcoming - Noûs.
    Comparative cognitive science often involves asking questions like ‘Do nonhumans have C?’ where C is a capacity we take humans to have. These questions frequently generate unproductive disagreements, in which one party affirms and the other denies that nonhumans have the relevant capacity on the basis of the same evidence. I argue that these questions can be productively understood as questions about natural kinds: do nonhuman capacities fall into the same natural kinds as our own? Understanding such questions in this (...)
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  4. Replies to Hatzimoysis, Hufendiek and Sievers, Majeed, Gerrans, and Whiting.Tom Cochrane - 2024 - Journal of Philosophy of Emotion 5 (2):52-61.
    The concerns of each commentary are addressed in turn. I clarify and defend the claims of The Emotional Mind with regards to the plausibility of automatic responses to representational content, the distinction between emotions and bodily feelings, the influence of social contexts upon emotional responses, the complex issue of whether emotions are modular or form natural kinds, the nature of pain asymbolia, and the nature of emotional authenticity.
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  5. Cats are not necessarily animals.Margarida Hermida - 2024 - Erkenntnis 89 (4):1387-1406.
    Some plausibly necessary a posteriori theoretical claims include ‘water is H 2 O’, ‘gold is the element with atomic number 79’, and ‘cats are animals’. In this paper I challenge the necessity of the third claim. I argue that there are possible worlds in which cats exist, but are not animals. Under any of the species concepts currently accepted in biology, organisms do not belong essentially to their species. This is equally true of their ancestors. In phylogenetic systematics, monophyletic clades (...)
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  6. Biological Individuals.Robert A. Wilson & Matthew J. Barker - 2024 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The impressive variation amongst biological individuals generates many complexities in addressing the simple-sounding question what is a biological individual? A distinction between evolutionary and physiological individuals is useful in thinking about biological individuals, as is attention to the kinds of groups, such as superorganisms and species, that have sometimes been thought of as biological individuals. More fully understanding the conceptual space that biological individuals occupy also involves considering a range of other concepts, such as life, reproduction, and agency. There has (...)
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  7. On Drugs.Sam Baron, Sara Linton & Maureen A. O’Malley - 2023 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 48 (6):551-564.
    Despite their centrality to medicine, drugs are not easily defined. We introduce two desiderata for a basic definition of medical drugs. It should: (a) capture everything considered to be a drug in medical contexts and (b) rule out anything that is not considered to be a drug. After canvassing a range of options, we find that no single definition of drugs can satisfy both desiderata. We conclude with three responses to our exploration of the drug concept: maintain a monistic concept, (...)
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  8. Natural Kinds (Cambridge Elements in Philosophy of Science).Muhammad Ali Khalidi - 2023 - Cambridge University Press.
    Scientists cannot devise theories, construct models, propose explanations, make predictions, or even carry out observations, without first classifying their subject matter. The goal of scientific taxonomy is to come up with classification schemes that conform to nature's own. Another way of putting this is that science aims to devise categories that correspond to 'natural kinds.' The interest in ascertaining the real kinds of things in nature is as old as philosophy itself, but it takes on a different guise when one (...)
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  9. Scurvy and the ontology of natural kinds.P. D. Magnus - 2023 - Philosophy of Science 80 (5):1031-1039.
    Some philosophers understand natural kinds to be the categories which are constraints on enquiry. In order to elaborate the metaphysics appropriate to such an account, I consider the complicated history of scurvy, citrus, and vitamin C. It may be tempting to understand these categories in a shallow way (as mere property clusters) or in a deep way (as fundamental properties). Neither approach is adequate, and the case instead calls for middle-range ontology: starting from categories which we identify in the world (...)
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  10. What is the folk concept of life?Kevin Reuter & Claus Beisbart - 2023 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 101 (2):486-507.
    This paper details the content and structure of the folk concept of life, and discusses its relevance for scientific research on life. In four empirical studies, we investigate which features of life are considered salient, universal, central, and necessary. Functionings, such as nutrition and reproduction, but not material composition, turn out to be salient features commonly associated with living beings (Study 1). By contrast, being made of cells is considered a universal feature of living species (Study 2), a central aspect (...)
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  11. Cladism, Monophyly and Natural Kinds.Sandy C. Boucher - 2022 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 22 (64):39-68.
    Cladism, today the dominant school of systematics in biology, includes a classification component – the view that classification ought to reflect phylogeny only, such that all and only taxa are monophyletic (i.e. consist of an ancestor and all its descendants) - and a metaphysical component – the view that all and only real groups or kinds of organisms are monophyletic. For the most part these are seen as amounting to much the same thing, but I argue they can and should (...)
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  12. How to Philosophically Tackle Kinds without Talking About ‘Natural Kinds’.Ingo Brigandt - 2022 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 52 (3):356-379.
    Recent rival attempts in the philosophy of science to put forward a general theory of the properties that all (and only) natural kinds across the sciences possess may have proven to be futile. Instead, I develop a general methodological framework for how to philosophically study kinds. Any kind has to be investigated and articulated together with the human aims that motivate referring to this kind, where different kinds in the same scientific domain can answer to different concrete aims. My core (...)
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  13. Sex Contextualism.Sarah S. Richardson - 2022 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 14 (2).
    This paper develops the conceptual framework of ’sex contextualism’ for the study of sex-related variables in biomedical research. Sex contextualism offers an alternative to binary sex essentialist approaches to the study of sex as a biological variable. Specifically, sex contextualism recognizes the pluralism and context-specificity of operationalizations of ’sex’ across experimental laboratory research. In light of recent policy mandates to consider sex as a biological variable, sex contextualism offers constructive guidance to biomedical researchers for attending to sex-related biological variation. As (...)
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  14. Continuing After Species: An Afterword.Robert A. Wilson - 2022 - In John S. Wilkins, Igor Pavlinov & Frank Zachos (eds.), Species Problems and Beyond: Contemporary Issues in Philosophy and Practice. New York: Routledge. pp. 343-353.
    This afterword to Species and Beyond provides some reflections on species, with special attention to what I think the most significant developments have been in the thinking of biologists and philosophers working on species over the past 25 years, as well as some bad jokes.
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  15. Više je ipak bolje: Epistemički interesi i prirodne vrste (eng. The more the merrier: Epistemic interests and natural kinds).Mladen Bošnjak & Zdenka Brzović - 2021 - Prolegomena: Journal of Philosophy 20 (2):235-259.
    In this paper, we focus on the propensity toward identifying natural kinds with successful scientific categories in contemporary discussions of natural kinds within the philosophy of science. Success in this case is understood as the fulfillment of epistemic interests or goals in a given field of scientific research. The prevailing view is that, in order to have a theory of natural kinds that successfully captures current scientific practice, the relevant epistemic interests are the current interests of scientists working in a (...)
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  16. Typology and Natural Kinds in Evo-Devo.Ingo Brigandt - 2021 - In Nuño De La Rosa Laura & Müller Gerd (eds.), Evolutionary Developmental Biology: A Reference Guide. Springer. pp. 483-493.
    The traditional practice of establishing morphological types and investigating morphological organization has found new support from evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo), especially with respect to the notion of body plans. Despite recurring claims that typology is at odds with evolutionary thinking, evo-devo offers mechanistic explanations of the evolutionary origin, transformation, and evolvability of morphological organization. In parallel, philosophers have developed non-essentialist conceptions of natural kinds that permit kinds to exhibit variation and undergo change. This not only facilitates a construal of species (...)
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  17. Etiological Kinds.Muhammad Ali Khalidi - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (1):1-21.
    Kinds that share historical properties are dubbed “historical kinds” or “etiological kinds,” and they have some distinctive features. I will try to characterize etiological kinds in general terms and briefly survey some previous philosophical discussions of these kinds. Then I will take a closer look at a few case studies involving different types of etiological kinds. Finally, I will try to understand the rationale for classifying on the basis of etiology, putting forward reasons for classifying phenomena on the basis of (...)
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  18. The causal structure of natural kinds.Olivier Lemeire - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 85:200-207.
    One primary goal for metaphysical theories of natural kinds is to account for their epistemic fruitfulness. According to cluster theories of natural kinds, this epistemic fruitfulness is grounded in the regular and stable co- occurrence of a broad set of properties. In this paper, I defend the view that such a cluster theory is insufficient to adequately account for the epistemic fruitfulness of kinds. I argue that cluster theories can indeed account for the projectibility of natural kinds, but not for (...)
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  19. An ontology of weak entity realism for HPC kinds.Reuben Sass - 2021 - Synthese 198 (12):11861-11880.
    This paper defends an ontology of weak entity realism for homeostatic property cluster (HPC) theories of natural kinds, adapted from Bird’s (Synthese 195(4):1397–1426, 2018) taxonomy of such theories. Weak entity realism about HPC kinds accepts the existence of natural kinds. Weak entity realism denies two theses: that (1) HPC kinds have mind-independent essences, and that (2) HPC kinds reduce to entities, such as complex universals, posited only by metaphysical theories. Strong entity realism accepts (1) and (2), whereas moderate entity realism (...)
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  20. Philosophy of Psychiatry.Jonathan Y. Tsou - 2021 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    Jonathan Y. Tsou examines and defends positions on central issues in philosophy of psychiatry. The positions defended assume a naturalistic and realist perspective and are framed against skeptical perspectives on biological psychiatry. Issues addressed include the reality of mental disorders; mechanistic and disease explanations of abnormal behavior; definitions of mental disorder; natural and artificial kinds in psychiatry; biological essentialism and the projectability of psychiatric categories; looping effects and the stability of mental disorders; psychiatric classification; and the validity of the DSM's (...)
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  21. Understanding scientific types: holotypes, stratotypes, and measurement prototypes.Alisa Bokulich - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (5):1-28.
    At the intersection of taxonomy and nomenclature lies the scientific practice of typification. This practice occurs in biology with the use of holotypes (type specimens), in geology with the use of stratotypes, and in metrology with the use of measurement prototypes. In this paper I develop the first general definition of a scientific type and outline a new philosophical theory of types inspired by Pierre Duhem. I use this general framework to resolve the necessity-contingency debate about type specimens in philosophy (...)
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  22. Against natural kind eliminativism.Stijn Conix & Pei-Shan Chi - 2020 - Synthese 198 (9):8999-9020.
    It has recently been argued that the concept of natural kinds should be eliminated because it does not play a productive theoretical role and even harms philosophical research on scientific classification. We argue that this justification for eliminativism fails because the notion of ‘natural kinds’ plays another epistemic role in philosophical research, namely, it enables fruitful investigation into non-arbitrary classification. It does this in two ways: first, by providing a fruitful investigative entry into scientific classification; and second—as is supported by (...)
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  23. The Animal Sexes as Historical Explanatory Kinds.Laura Franklin-Hall - 2020 - In Shamik Dasgupta, Brad Weslake & Ravit Dotan (eds.), Current Controversies in Philosophy of Science. London: Routledge. pp. 177-197.
    Though biologists identify individuals as ‘male’ or ‘female’ across a broad range of animal species, the particular traits exhibited by males and females can vary tremendously. This diversity has led some to conclude that cross-animal sexes (males, or females, of whatever animal species) have “little or no explanatory power” (Dupré 1986: 447) and, thus, are not natural kinds in any traditional sense. This essay will explore considerations for and against this conclusion, ultimately arguing that the animal sexes, properly understood, are (...)
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  24. Essential Properties are Super-Explanatory: Taming Metaphysical Modality.Marion Godman, Antonella Mallozzi & David Papineau - 2020 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association (3):1-19.
    This paper aims to build a bridge between two areas of philosophical research, the structure of kinds and metaphysical modality. Our central thesis is that kinds typically involve super-explanatory properties, and that these properties are therefore metaphysically essential to natural kinds. Philosophers of science who work on kinds tend to emphasize their complexity, and are generally resistant to any suggestion that they have “essences”. The complexities are real enough, but they should not be allowed to obscure the way that kinds (...)
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  25. Are sexes natural kinds?Muhammad Ali Khalidi - 2020 - In Shamik Dasgupta, Brad Weslake & Ravit Dotan (eds.), Current Controversies in Philosophy of Science. London: Routledge. pp. 163-176.
    Asking whether the sexes are natural kinds amounts to asking whether the categories, female and male, identify real divisions in nature, like the distinctions between biological species, or whether they mark merely artificial or arbitrary distinctions. The distinction between females and males in the animal kingdom is based on the relative size of the gametes they produce, with females producing larger gametes (ova) and males producing smaller gametes (sperm). This chapter argues that the properties of producing relatively large and small (...)
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  26. The New LeDoux: Survival Circuits and the Surplus Meaning of ‘Fear’.Raamy Majeed - 2020 - Philosophical Quarterly 70 (281):809-829.
    ABSTRACT LeDoux's pioneering work on the neurobiology of fear has played a crucial role in informing debates in the philosophy of emotion. For example, it plays a key part in Griffiths’ argument for why emotions don’t form a natural kind. Likewise, it is employed by Faucher and Tappolet to defend pro-emotion views, which claim that emotions aid reasoning. LeDoux, however, now argues that his work has been misread. He argues that using emotion terms, like ‘fear’, to describe neurocognitive data adds (...)
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  27. Synergic kinds.Manolo Martínez - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):1931-1946.
    According to the homeostatic property cluster family of accounts, one of the main conditions for groups of properties to count as natural is that these properties be frequently co-instantiated. I argue that this condition is, in fact, not necessary for natural-kindness. Furthermore, even when it is present, the focus on co-occurrence distorts the role natural kinds play in science. Co-occurrence corresponds to what information theorists call redundancy: observing the presence of some of the properties in a frequently co-occurrent cluster makes (...)
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  28. A part‐dependent account of biological individuality: why holobionts are individuals and ecosystems simultaneously.Javier Suárez & Adrian Stencel - 2020 - Biological Reviews.
    Given one conception of biological individuality (evolutionary, physiological, etc.), can a holobiont – that is the host + its symbiotic (mutualistic, commensalist and parasitic) microbiome – be simultaneously a biological individual and an ecological community? Herein, we support this possibility by arguing that the notion of biological individuality is part‐dependent. In our account, the individuality of a biological ensemble should not only be determined by the conception of biological individuality in use, but also by the biological characteristics of the part (...)
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  29. Where Do You Get Your Protein? Or: Biochemical Realization.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (3):799-825.
    Biochemical kinds such as proteins pose interesting problems for philosophers of science, as they can be studied from the points of view of both biology and chemistry. The relationship between the biological functions of biochemical kinds and the microstructures that they are related to is the key question. This leads us to a more general discussion about ontological reductionism, microstructuralism, and multiple realization at the biology-chemistry interface. On the face of it, biochemical kinds seem to pose a challenge for ontological (...)
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  30. Are Emotions Psychological Constructions?Charlie Kurth - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (5):1227-1238.
    According to psychological constructivism, emotions result from projecting folk emotion concepts onto felt affective episodes (e.g., Barrett 2017, LeDoux 2015). Moreover, while constructivists acknowledge there’s a biological dimension to emotion, they deny that emotions are (or involve) affect programs. So they also deny that emotions are natural kinds. However, the essential role constructivism gives to felt experience and folk concepts leads to an account that’s extensionally inadequate and functionally inaccurate. Moreover, biologically-oriented proposals that reject these commitments are not similarly encumbered. (...)
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  31. Essence in the Age of Evolution: A New Theory of Natural Kinds.Christopher J. Austin - 2018 - London, UK: Routledge.
    This book offers a novel defence of a highly contested philosophical position: biological natural kind essentialism. This theory is routinely and explicitly rejected for its purported inability to be explicated in the context of contemporary biological science, and its supposed incompatibility with the process and progress of evolution by natural selection. Christopher J. Austin challenges these objections, and in conjunction with contemporary scientific advancements within the field of evolutionary-developmental biology, the book utilises a contemporary neo-Aristotelian metaphysics of "dispositional properties", or (...)
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  32. Natural Kinds.Zdenka Brzović - 2018 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    A large part of our exploration of the world consists in categorizing or classifying the objects and processes we encounter, both in scientific and everyday contexts. There are various, perhaps innumerable, ways to sort objects into different kinds or categories, but it is commonly assumed that, among the countless possible types of classifications, one group is privileged. Philosophy refers to such categories as natural kinds. Standard examples of such kinds include fundamental physical particles, chemical elements, and biological species. The term (...)
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  33. Smaller than a Breadbox: Scale and Natural Kinds.Julia R. Bursten - 2018 - British Journal for Philosophy of Science 69 (1):1-23.
    ABSTRACT I propose a division of the literature on natural kinds into metaphysical worries, semantic worries, and methodological worries. I argue that the latter set of worries, which concern how classification influences scientific practices, should occupy centre stage in philosophy of science discussions about natural kinds. I apply this methodological framework to the problems of classifying chemical species and nanomaterials. I show that classification in nanoscience differs from classification in chemistry because the latter relies heavily on compositional identity, whereas the (...)
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  34. Catherine Kendig, ed. Natural Kinds and Classification in Scientific Practice. London: Routledge, 2016. Pp. xx+247. $153.00.Max Dresow & Alan C. Love - 2018 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 8 (1):217-222.
    Nobody wants unnatural kinds. Just as we prefer all natural ingredients in our food, so also we prefer natural kinds in our ontology and epistemology. Philosophers contrast natural with merely “conventional” kinds, and scientists advocate for natural rather than artificial classification systems. A central plank of the desired naturalness is “mind independence”—the property of existing independent of human interests and desires. Natural kinds are discovered, not made. They reflect the structure of the world (“nature’s joints”) and for this reason justify (...)
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  35. Gender as a historical kind: a tale of two genders?Marion Godman - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (3-4):21.
    Is there anything that members of each binary category of gender have in common? Even many non-essentialists find the lack of unity within a gender worrying as it undermines the basis for a common political agenda for women. One promising proposal for achieving unity is by means of a shared historical lineage of cultural reproduction with past binary models of gender. I demonstrate how such an account is likely to take on board different binary and also non-binary systems of gender. (...)
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  36. Scientific realism with historical essences: the case of species.Marion Godman - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 12):3041-3057.
    Natural kinds, real kinds, or, following J.S Mill simply, Kinds, are thought to be an important asset for scientific realists in the non-fundamental (or “special”) sciences. Essential natures are less in vogue. I show that the realist would do well to couple her Kinds with essential natures in order to strengthen their epistemic and ontological credentials. I argue that these essential natures need not however be intrinsic to the Kind’s members; they may be historical. I concentrate on assessing the merits (...)
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  37. Psychiatry should not seek mechanisms of disorder.Daniel F. Hartner & Kari L. Theurer - 2018 - Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 38 (4):189-204.
    What kind of thing is a psychiatric disorder? At present, this is the central question in the philosophy of psychiatry. Answers tend toward one of two opposing views: realism, the view that psychiatric disorders are natural kinds, and constructivism, the view that disorders are products of classificatory conventions. The difficulties with each are well rehearsed. One compelling third-way solution, developed by Peter Zachar, holds that disorders are practical kinds. Proponents of this view are left with the difficult task of explaining (...)
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  38. The species category as a scientific kind.Caleb C. Hazelwood - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 12):3027-3040.
    Marc Ereshefsky’s project of eliminative pluralism holds that, as there is no unifying feature among all species concepts, we ought to doubt the existence of the species category. Here, I argue that one promising strategy for saving the species category is to reframe it as a natural kind after the practice turn. I suggest situating the species category within a recent account of natural kinds proposed by Marc Ereshefsky and Thomas Reydon called “scientific kinds”. Scientific kinds highlight ontological boundaries. More (...)
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  39. Scott Lidgard and Lynn K. Nyhart, eds. Biological Individuality: Integrating Scientific, Philosophical, and Historical Perspectives. [REVIEW]Catherine Kendig - 2018 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 8 (2):475-480.
    Biologists, historians of biology, and philosophers of biology often ask what is it to be an individual, really. This book does not answer that question. Instead, it answers a much more interesting one: How do biologists individuate individuals? In answering that question, the authors explore why biologists individuate individuals, in what ways, and for what purposes. The cross-disciplinary, dialogical approach to answering metaphysical questions that is pursued in the volume may seem strange to metaphysicians who are not biologically focused, but (...)
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  40. Grounding knowledge and normative valuation in agent-based action and scientific commitment.Catherine Kendig - 2018 - In Hauke Riesch, Nathan Emmerich & Steven Wainwright (eds.), Philosophies and Sociologies of Bioethics: Crossing the Divides. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. pp. 41-64.
    Philosophical investigation in synthetic biology has focused on the knowledge-seeking questions pursued, the kind of engineering techniques used, and on the ethical impact of the products produced. However, little work has been done to investigate the processes by which these epistemological, metaphysical, and ethical forms of inquiry arise in the course of synthetic biology research. An attempt at this work relying on a particular area of synthetic biology will be the aim of this chapter. I focus on the reengineering of (...)
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  41. No purely epistemic theory can account for the naturalness of kinds.Olivier Lemeire - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 12):2907-2925.
    Several philosophers have recently tried to define natural kinds in epistemic terms only. Given the persistent problems with finding a successful metaphysical theory, these philosophers argue that we would do better to describe natural kinds solely in terms of their epistemic usefulness, such as their role in supporting inductive inferences. In this paper, I argue against these epistemology-only theories of natural kinds and in favor of, at least partly, metaphysical theories. I do so in three steps. In the first section (...)
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  42. Letting Go of “Natural Kind”: Toward a Multidimensional Framework of Nonarbitrary Classification.David Ludwig - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (1):31-52.
    This article uses the case study of ethnobiological classification to develop a positive and a negative thesis about the state of natural kind debates. On the one hand, I argue that current accounts of natural kinds can be integrated in a multidimensional framework that advances understanding of classificatory practices in ethnobiology. On the other hand, I argue that such a multidimensional framework does not leave any substantial work for the notion “natural kind” and that attempts to formulate a general account (...)
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  43. Revamping the Metaphysics of Ethnobiological Classification.David Ludwig - 2018 - Current Anthropology 59 (4):415-438.
    Ethnobiology has a long tradition of metaphysical debates about the “naturalness,” “objectivity”, “reality”, and “universality” of classifications. Especially the work of Brent Berlin has been influential in developing a “convergence metaphysics” that explains cross-cultural similarities of knowledge systems through shared recognition of objective discontinuities in nature. Despite its influence on the development of the field, convergence metaphysics has largely fallen out of favor as contemporary ethnobiologists tend to emphasize the locality and diversity of classificatory practices. The aim of this article (...)
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  44. Objectivity, Historicity, Taxonomy.Joeri Witteveen - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (3):445-463.
    In Objectivity, Daston and Galison argue that scientific objectivity has a history. Objectivity emerged as a distinct nineteenth-century “epistemic virtue,” flanked in time by other epistemic virtues. The authors trace the origins of scientific objectivity by identifying changes in images from scientific atlases from different periods, but they emphasize that the same history could be narrated using different sorts of scientific objects. One could, for example, focus on the changing uses of “type specimens” in biological taxonomy. Daston :153–182, 2004) indeed (...)
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  45. LIV – Utomjordiskt, Syntetiskt, Artificiellt.Jessica Abbott & Erik Persson - 2017 - Lund, Sverige: Pufendorfinstitutet.
    Liv är ett centralt begrepp inom många forskningsområden, exempelvis inom biologi, astrobiologi, kemi och medicin, såväl som inom juridik, teologi och filosofi. Liv är också ett centralt tema i konsten. Det behandlas och begrundas i åtskilliga konstverk, i dikt, roman och film. Hur vi skall förstå, värdera och skydda livet, är oerhört fundamentala frågor. I framtiden kommer dessa frågor att bli än svårare och om möjligt ännu viktigare. Forskargrupper från hela världen arbetar idag med att skapa liv i laboratoriet, leta (...)
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  46. Aristotelian Essentialism: Essence in the Age of Evolution.Christopher J. Austin - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2539-2556.
    The advent of contemporary evolutionary theory ushered in the eventual decline of Aristotelian Essentialism (Æ) – for it is widely assumed that essence does not, and cannot have any proper place in the age of evolution. This paper argues that this assumption is a mistake: if Æ can be suitably evolved, it need not face extinction. In it, I claim that if that theory’s fundamental ontology consists of dispositional properties, and if its characteristic metaphysical machinery is interpreted within the framework (...)
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  47. The Kindness of Psychopaths.Zdenka Brzović, Marko Jurjako & Predrag Šustar - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (2):189-211.
    Psychopathy attracts considerable interdisciplinary interest. The idea of a group of people with abnormal morality and interpersonal relations raises important philosophical, legal, and clinical issues. However, before engaging these issues, we ought to examine whether this category is scientifically grounded. We frame the issue in terms of the question whether ‘psychopathy’ designates a natural kind according to the cluster approaches. We argue that currently there is no sufficient evidence for an affirmative answer to this question. Furthermore, we examine three ways (...)
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  48. Stem Cell Lineages: Between Cell and Organism.Melinda Bonnie Fagan - 2017 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 9 (6).
    Ontologies of living things are increasingly grounded on the concepts and practices of current life science. Biological development is a process, undergone by living things, which begins with a single cell and (in an important class of cases) ends with formation of a multicellular organism. The process of development is thus prima facie central for ideas about biological individuality and organismality. However, recent accounts of these concepts do not engage developmental biology. This paper aims to fill the gap, proposing the (...)
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  49. Indigenous and Scientific Kinds.David Ludwig - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (1).
    The aim of this article is to discuss the relation between indigenous and scientific kinds on the basis of contemporary ethnobiological research. I argue that ethnobiological accounts of taxonomic convergence-divergence patters challenge common philosophical models of the relation between folk concepts and natural kinds. Furthermore, I outline a positive model of taxonomic convergence-divergence patterns that is based on Slater's [2014] notion of “stable property clusters” and Franklin-Hall's [2014] discussion of natural kinds as “categorical bottlenecks.” Finally, I argue that this model (...)
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  50. Are Clusters Races? A Discussion of the Rhetorical Appropriation of Rosenberg et al.’s “Genetic Structure of Human Populations”.Melissa Wills - 2017 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 9 (12).
    Noah Rosenberg et al.'s 2002 article “Genetic Structure of Human Populations” reported that multivariate genomic analysis of a large cell line panel yielded reproducible groupings (clusters) suggestive of individuals' geographical origins. The paper has been repeatedly cited as evidence that traditional notions of race have a biological basis, a claim its authors do not make. Critics of this misinterpretation have often suggested that it follows from interpreters' personal biases skewing the reception of an objective piece of scientific writing. I contend, (...)
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