Planets, pluralism, and conceptual lineage

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 53 (C):93-106 (2016)
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Abstract

Conceptual change can occur for a variety of reasons; some more scientifically significant than others. The 2006 definition of ‘planet’, which saw Pluto reclassified as a dwarf planet, is an example toward the more mundane end of the scale. I argue however that this case serves as a useful example of a related phenomenon, whereby what appears to be a single kind term conceals two or more distinct concepts with independent scientific utility. I examine the historical background to this case, as a template for developing additional evidence for pluralist approaches to conceptual disputes within science and elsewhere.

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Carl Brusse
University of Sydney

Citations of this work

The Polysemy Theory of Sound.Anton Killin - 2020 - Erkenntnis 87 (2):435-458.
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References found in this work

What do philosophers believe?David Bourget & David J. Chalmers - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170 (3):465-500.
Survival and identity.David Lewis - 1976 - In Amelie Oksenberg Rorty (ed.), The Identities of Persons. University of California Press. pp. 17-40.
Species.Philip Kitcher - 1984 - Philosophy of Science 51 (2):308-333.
Species.Philip Kitcher - 1984 - Philosophy of Science 51 (2):308-333.

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