Philosophy Compass 3 (4):789-802 (2008)
The aim of this article is to illustrate how a belief in the existence of kinds may be justified for the particular case of natural kinds: particularly noteworthy in this respect is the weight borne by scientific natural kinds (e.g., physical, chemical, and biological kinds) in (i) inductive arguments; (ii) the laws of nature; and (iii) causal explanations. It is argued that biological taxa are properly viewed as kinds as well, despite the fact that they have been by some alleged to be individuals. Since it turns out that the arguments associated with the standard Kripke/Putnam semantics for natural kind terms only establish the non-descriptiveness of natural kind terms and not their rigidity, the door is open to analyze these terms as denoting traditional predicate-extensions. Finally, special issues raised by physical and chemical kinds are considered briefly, in particular impurities, isotopes and the threat of incommensurability.
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References found in this work BETA
The Disorder of Things: Metaphysical Foundations of the Disunity of Science.John Dupré - 1993 - Harvard University Press.
Beyond Rigidity: The Unfinished Semantic Agenda of Naming and Necessity.Scott Soames - 2002 - Oxford University Press.
The Meaning of 'Meaning'.Hilary Putnam - 1975 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7:131-193.
Citations of this work BETA
Essential Properties and Individual Essences.Sonia Roca-Royes - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (1):65-77.
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