Davide Serpico
Jagiellonian University
The homeostatic property cluster theory is widely influential for its ability to account for many natural-kind terms in the life sciences. However, the notion of homeostatic mechanism has never been fully explicated. In 2009, Carl Craver interpreted the notion in the sense articulated in discussions on mechanistic explanation and pointed out that the HPC account equipped with such notion invites interest-relativity. In this paper, we analyze two recent refinements on HPC: one that avoids any reference to the causes of the clustering of properties and one that replaces homeostatic mechanisms with causal networks represented by causal graphs. We argue that the former is too slender to account for some inductive inference in science and the latter, thicker account invites interest-relativity, as the original HPC does. This suggests that human interest will be an un-eliminative part of a satisfactory account of natural kindness. We conclude by discussing the implication of interest-relativity to the naturalness, reality, or objectivity of kinds and indicating an overlooked aspect of natural kinds that requires further studies.
Keywords Natural kinds   Interest-relativity   Homeostatic property clusters  Homeostatic mechanisms   Causal networks   Stable property clusters
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DOI 10.1007/s10838-020-09527-1
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References found in this work BETA

Thinking About Mechanisms.Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
Idealization and the Aims of Science.Angela Potochnik - 2017 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

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Covid-19 and Ageing: Four Alternative Conceptual Frameworks.Davide Serpico & M. Cristina Amoretti - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (3):1-4.

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