Synthese 197 (5):2073-2093 (2020)

Abstract
A central question for philosophical psychology is which mental faculties form natural kinds. There is hot debate over the kind status of faculties as diverse as consciousness, seeing, concepts, emotions, constancy and the senses. In this paper, I take emotions and concepts as my main focus, and argue that questions over the kind status of these faculties are complicated by the undeservedly overlooked fact that natural kinds are indeterminate in certain ways. I will show that indeterminacy issues have led to an impasse in the debates over emotions and concepts. I first consider and reject one way of resolving this impasse. I then suggest a different method, which places more emphasis on a close analysis of predictive and explanatory practices in psychology. I argue that when we apply this method, a new position emerges: that it is indeterminate whether concepts or emotions are natural kinds. They are neither determinately natural kinds, nor determinately not natural kinds. Along the way, we will see that natural kinds have been put to two completely different theoretical uses, which are often been blurred together, and that they are ill-suited to fulfil one of them.
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-018-1783-y
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References found in this work BETA

Origins of Objectivity.Tyler Burge - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
Thinking About Mechanisms.Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
Scientific Essentialism.Brian Ellis - 2001 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Fuzziness in the Mind: Can Perception Be Unconscious?Henry Taylor - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (2):383-398.

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