Natural Kinds, Mind-independence, and Unification Principles

Synthese 200 (2):1-23 (2022)
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Abstract

There have been many attempts to determine what makes a natural kind real, chief among them is the criterion according to which natural kinds must be mind-independent. But it is difficult to specify this criterion: many supposed natural kinds have an element of mind-dependence. I will argue that the mind-independence criterion is nevertheless a good one, if correctly understood: the mind-independence criterion concerns the unification principles for natural kinds. Unification principles determine how natural kinds unify their properties, and only those natural kinds that have a mind-independent unification principle should be considered real.

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Author's Profile

Tuomas E. Tahko
University of Bristol

Citations of this work

The Gene as a Natural Kind.Francesca Bellazzi - 2023 - In José Manuel Viejo & Mariano Sanjuán (eds.), Life and Mind - New Directions in the Philosophy of Biology and Cognitive Sciences. Springer. pp. pp 259–278.
Laws of Nature.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2024 - In A. R. J. Fisher & Anna-Sofia Maurin (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Properties. London: Routledge. pp. 337-346.
From naturalness to materiality: reimagining philosophy of scientific classification.David Ludwig - 2023 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 13 (1):1-23.
Natural Kind Essentialism.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2024 - In Kathrin Koslicki & Michael J. Raven (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Essence in Philosophy. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 156-168.

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The social construction of what?Ian Hacking - 1999 - Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.
A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive.John Stuart Mill - 1843 - New York and London,: University of Toronto Press. Edited by J. Robson.

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