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P.D. Magnus

How to be a realist about natural kinds

An argument for domain-relative natural kinds.

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Abstract

Although some authors hold that natural kinds are necessarily relative to disciplinary domains, many authors presume that natural kinds must be absolute, categorical features of the reality— often assuming that without even mentioning the alternative. Recognizing both possibilities, one may ask whether the difference especially matters. I argue that it does. Looking at recent arguments about natural kind realism, I argue that we can best make sense of the realism question by thinking of natural kindness as a relation that holds between a category and a domain.

BibTeX

@ARTICLE(Magnus2018f,
	AUTHOR = {P.D. Magnus},
	TITLE = {How to be a Realist about Natural Kinds},
	JOURNAL = {Disputatio. Philosophical Research Bulletin},
	YEAR = {2018},
	MONTH = dec,
	VOLUME = {7},
	NUMBER = {8},
	URL = {https://disputatio.eu/vols/vol-7-no-8/magnus-realist/},
	DOI = {10.5281/zenodo.2553734}
)

The first on-line draft of this paper was posted 8aug2014.

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