In Shamik Dasgupta, Ravit Dotan & Brad Weslake (eds.), Current Controversies in Philosophy of Science. Routledge. pp. 177-197 (2020)

Authors
Laura Franklin-Hall
New York University
Abstract
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 “historical explanatory kinds”: groupings that can be scientifically significant even while their members differ radically in their current properties and particular histories. Whether this makes them full-fledged natural kinds is a question I take up at the very end.
Keywords sexes  male  female  natural kinds  historical kinds  scientific classification
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References found in this work BETA

Resurrecting Biological Essentialism.Michael Devitt - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (3):344-382.
Natural Kinds as Categorical Bottlenecks.Laura Franklin-Hall - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (4):925-948.
Is Sex Binary?Alex Byrne - 2018 - Arc Digital (nov 1).

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