Realism and human kinds

Abstract
It is often noted that institutional objects and artifacts depend on human beliefs and intentions and so fail to meet the realist paradigm of mind-independent objects. In this paper I draw out exactly in what ways the thesis of mind-independence fails, and show that it has some surprising consequences. For the specific forms of mind-dependence involved entail that we have certain forms of epistemic privilege with regard to our own institutional and artifactual kinds, protecting us from certain possibilities of ignorance and error; they also demonstrate that not all cases of reference to these kinds can proceed along a causal model. As a result, realist views in ontology, epistemology, and semantics that were developed with natural scientific kinds in mind cannot fully apply to the everyday world. In closing I consider some wider consequences of these results for social science and philosophy.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  Philosophy of Mind
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ISBN(s) 0031-8205
DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2003.tb00309.x
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References found in this work BETA
Mind, Language, and Reality.Hilary Putnam - 1975 - Cambridge University Press.
Naming and Necessity.Saul A. Kripke - 1980 - Harvard University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA
Ordinary Objects.Daniel Z. Korman - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The Metaphysics of Social Kinds.Rebecca Mason - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (12):841-850.
Programming Languages as Technical Artifacts.Raymond Turner - 2014 - Philosophy and Technology 27 (3):377-397.
Three Kinds of Social Kinds.Muhammad Ali Khalidi - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (1):96-112.

View all 21 citations / Add more citations

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