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Social Construction, HPC kinds, and the Projectability of Human Categories

Tsou, Jonathan Y. (2020) Social Construction, HPC kinds, and the Projectability of Human Categories. [Preprint]

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Abstract

This paper addresses the question of how human science categories yield projectable inferences by critically examining Ron Mallon's 'social role' account of human kinds. Mallon contends that human categories are projectable when a social role produces a homeostatic property cluster (HPC) kind. On this account, human categories are projectable when various social mechanisms stabilize and entrench those categories. Mallon's analysis obscures a distinction between transitory and robust projectable inferences. I argue that the social kinds discussed by Mallon yield the former, while classifications of biological kinds yield the latter. Classifications from psychiatry ('schizophrenia,' 'hysteria') are discussed as examples.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Tsou, Jonathan Y.jtsou@iastate.edu0000-0002-3939-1518
Keywords: Ron Mallon, projectability of human categories, natural kinds, social constructionism, realism
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
General Issues > Conventionalism
Specific Sciences > Cultural Evolution
General Issues > Laws of Nature
General Issues > Natural Kinds
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience
Specific Sciences > Psychology
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Depositing User: Jonathan Y. Tsou
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2019 03:42
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2019 03:42
Item ID: 16670
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
General Issues > Conventionalism
Specific Sciences > Cultural Evolution
General Issues > Laws of Nature
General Issues > Natural Kinds
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience
Specific Sciences > Psychology
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Date: 2020
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16670

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