Scientific kinds

Philosophical Studies 172 (4):969-986 (2015)
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Abstract

Richard Boyd’s Homeostatic Property Cluster Theory is becoming the received view of natural kinds in the philosophy of science. However, a problem with HPC Theory is that it neglects many kinds highlighted by scientific classifications while at the same time endorsing kinds rejected by science. In other words, there is a mismatch between HPC kinds and the kinds of science. An adequate account of natural kinds should accurately track the classifications of successful science. We offer an alternative account of natural kinds that better recognizes the diversity of epistemic aims scientists have for constructing classifications. That account introduces the idea of a classificatory program and provides criteria for judging whether a classificatory program identifies natural kinds.

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Author Profiles

Thomas A. C. Reydon
Universität Hannover
Marc Ereshefsky
University of Calgary

Citations of this work

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