No Grist for Mill on Natural Kinds

Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 2 (4) (2014)
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According to the standard narrative, natural kind is a technical notion that was introduced by John Stuart Mill in the 1840s and the recent craze for natural kinds, launched by Putnam and Kripke, is a continuation of that tradition. I argue that the standard narrative is mistaken. The Millian tradition of kinds was not particularly influential in the 20th-century, and the Putnam-Kripke revolution did not clearly engage with even the remnants that were left of it. The presently active tradition of natural kinds is less than half a century old. Recognizing this might help us better appreciate both Mill and natural kinds.

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P. D. Magnus
State University of New York, Albany

Citations of this work

Taxonomy, ontology, and natural kinds.P. D. Magnus - 2018 - Synthese 195 (4):1427-1439.
Whewell on classification and consilience.Aleta Quinn - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 1 (64):65-74.

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References found in this work

Human Knowledge, Its Scope and Limits.Bertrand Russell - 1949 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 54 (2):198-199.
Natural kinds.Alexander Bird & Emma Tobin - 1995 - In Edward N. Zalta (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford University.

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