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Natural Kinds as Real Patterns: Or How to Solve the Commitment Problem for Perspectival Realism

Crețu, Ana-Maria (2020) Natural Kinds as Real Patterns: Or How to Solve the Commitment Problem for Perspectival Realism. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Perspectival realism aims to reconcile the practice and the history of science with the realist commitment to mind-independent things such as natural kinds (Massimi 2018a;b, Teller 2011, Giere 2006). Yet an unambiguous realist commitment, particularly to natural kinds, is still missing from most perspectival realists’ accounts (Crețu forthcoming,b, Morrison 2011, Chakravartty 2010). The problem of integrating the two commitments is identified as ‘the commitment problem’. Taking inspiration from another weak realist position, structural realism (Ladyman and Ross 2007), a new account – natural kinds as real patterns – is developed as a solution to the commitment problem for perspectival realism. The natural kinds as real patterns account combines four main ingredients. First, a notion of ‘perspective- independence’, an empirically driven notion, different from mind-independence and objectivity. Second, a notion of ‘real patterns’, used to denote stable empirical regularities which science is in the business of tracking (Ladyman and Ross 2007, Dennett 1991). Third, a crucial distinction between ‘research traditions’ and ‘perspectives’ which is introduced to secure the legitimacy of perspective-independent real patterns (Laudan 1977). Fourth, a dual commitment to both real patterns (qua relations) and objects (qua relata)


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Crețu, Ana-Mariaacretu@ed.ac.uk
Keywords: perspectival realism, natural kinds, real patterns
Subjects: General Issues > Natural Kinds
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Depositing User: Dr. Ana-Maria Crețu
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2020 16:54
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2020 16:54
Item ID: 16828
Subjects: General Issues > Natural Kinds
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Date: 17 January 2020
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16828

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