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::: center home >> events >> lunchtime >> 2010-11 >> abstracts

Friday, 8 October 2010
What to Say about Natural Kinds
P.D. Magnus
Visiting Fellow (CPS)
University at Albany, SUNY
12:05 pm, 817R Cathedral of Learning

::: donuts

Abstract:  I want to argue for three central claims:  first, natural kinds should understood as relative to specific enquiries.  For example, a particular species may be a natural kind for biology or for ecology.  Second, every kind is a natural kind for some conceivable enquiry.  Third, these views do not lead to anarchism or antirealism about natural kinds.  Quite the opposite, this is the only way to save realism about natural kinds.

Insisting that natural kinds must be natural kinds simpliciter would force us to deny that there are any natural kinds at all.

Revised 10/25/10 - Copyright 2009