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Transitional Gradation in the Mind: Rethinking Psychological Kindhood

Buckner, Cameron (2016) Transitional Gradation in the Mind: Rethinking Psychological Kindhood. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 67 (4). pp. 1091-1115. ISSN 1464-3537

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Abstract

I here critique the application of the traditional, similarity-based account of natural kinds to debates in psychology. A challenge to such accounts of kindhood—familiar from the study of biological species—is a metaphysical phenomenon that I call ‘transitional gradation’: the systematic progression of slightly modified transitional forms between related candidate kinds. Where such gradation proliferates, it renders the selection of similarity criteria for kinds arbitrary. Reflection on general features of learning—especially on the gradual revision of concepts throughout the acquisition of expertise—shows that even the strongest candidates for similarity-based kinds in psychology exhibit systematic transitional gradation. As a result, philosophers of psychology should abandon discussion of kindhood, or explore non-similarity based accounts.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Buckner, Cameroncameronspain@hotmail.com
Keywords: natural kinds similarity concepts
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Concepts and Representations
General Issues > Natural Kinds
Specific Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Dr. Cameron Buckner
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2019 11:57
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2019 11:57
Item ID: 16332
Journal or Publication Title: The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Official URL: https://academic.oup.com/bjps/article-abstract/67/...
DOI or Unique Handle: 67/4/1091/2526191
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Concepts and Representations
General Issues > Natural Kinds
Specific Sciences > Psychology
Date: 2016
Page Range: pp. 1091-1115
Volume: 67
Number: 4
ISSN: 1464-3537
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16332

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