David Ludwig
Wageningen University and Research
The aim of this article is to discuss the nature of disagreement in scientific ontologies in the light of case studies from biology and cognitive science. I argue that disagreements in scientific ontologies are usually not about purely factual issues but involve both verbal and normative aspects. Furthermore, I try to show that this partly non-factual character of disagreement in scientific ontologies does not lead to a radical deflationism but is compatible with a “normative ontological realism.” Finally, I argue that the case studies from the empirical sciences challenge contemporary metaontological accounts that insist on exactly one true way of “carving nature at its joints.”
Keywords Disagreement  General intelligence  Natural kinds  Metaontology  Ontological realism  Species debate  Taxonomy  Values in science  Verbal disagreement
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2014
DOI 10.1007/s10838-013-9234-4
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 50,268
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
Ways of Worldmaking.Nelson Goodman - 1978 - Harvester Press.
The Mismeasure of Man.Stephen Jay Gould - 1981 - W.W. Norton and Company.
Verbal Disputes.David J. Chalmers - 2011 - Philosophical Review 120 (4):515-566.
Animal Species and Evolution.Ernst Mayr - 1963 - Belknap of Harvard University Press.

View all 21 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Ontological Choices and the Value-Free Ideal.David Ludwig - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (6):1253-1272.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
138 ( #63,250 of 2,325,396 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
6 ( #134,802 of 2,325,396 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes