Psychological essentialism and semantic externalism Evidence for externalism in lay speakers' language use

Abstract
Some experimental studies have recently claimed to undermine semantic externalism about natural kind terms. However, it is unclear how philosophical accounts of reference can be experimentally tested. We present two externalistic adaptations of psychological placeholder essentialism, a strict externalist and a hybrid externalist view, which are experimentally testable. We examine Braisby’s et al. (1996) study which claims to undermine externalism, and argue that the study fails in its aims. We conducted two experiments, the results of which undermine internalism and the hybrid theory, and support strict externalism. Ourconclusion is that lay speakers’ natural kind concepts involve a belief in an external category essence, which determines reference
Keywords Conference Proceedings  Contemporary Philosophy
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DOI 10.1080/09515080802703687
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Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 2010 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 431-433.
Natural Kinds and Conceptual Change.Joseph LaPorte - 2003 - Cambridge University Press.
Concepts and Stereotypes.Georges Rey - 1983 - Cognition 15 (1-3):237-62.

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Citations of this work BETA
A Multiple Realization Thesis for Natural Kinds.Kevin Lynch - 2012 - European Journal of Philosophy 20 (3):389-406.
Natural Kinds of Substance.Stephen Law - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (2):283-300.

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