Hegel and Arguments for Natural Kind Essentialism

Hegel Bulletin 42 (3):368-394 (2021)
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Abstract

Natural Kind Essentialism is the view that the objects of sciences like physics, chemistry and biology fall into natural kinds, and that such kinds have essences—sets of properties possession of which is necessary and sufficient for kind-membership. Since Putnam and Kripke brought NKE back onto the philosophical agenda, it has found many advocates. But comparatively little attention has been paid to the question of how this view can be positively motivated. After illustrating the current need for an argument for NKE through critical discussions of Putnam’s, Kripke’s and Ellis’s arguments for NKE, this article aims to show that Hegel offers the resources for an original argument for the view. This argument works by deriving metaphysical implications from an account of what it means to understand an explanandum.

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Franz Knappik
University of Bergen

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References found in this work

The meaning of 'meaning'.Hilary Putnam - 1975 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7:131-193.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1980 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.
Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1973 - Foundations of Language 13 (1):145-151.
Mind and World.John Mcdowell - 1996 - Philosophical Quarterly 46 (182):99-109.

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