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Homeostatic Property Cluster Theory without Homeostatic Mechanisms: Two Recent Attempts and their Costs

Onishi, Yukinori and Serpico, Davide (2021) Homeostatic Property Cluster Theory without Homeostatic Mechanisms: Two Recent Attempts and their Costs. Journal for General Philosophy of Science. ISSN 0925-4560

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Abstract

The homeostatic property cluster theory (HPC) is widely influential for its ability to account for many natural-kind terms in the life sciences. However, the notion of homeostatic mechanism has never been fully explicated. In 2009, Craver interpreted the notion in the sense articulated in discussions on mechanistic explanation and pointed out that the HPC account equipped with such notion invites interest-relativity. In this paper, we analyze two recent refinements on HPC: one that avoids any reference to the causes of the clustering of properties and one that replaces homeostatic mechanisms with causal networks represented by causal graphs. We argue that the former is too slender to account for some inductive inference in science and the latter, thicker account invites interest-relativity, as the original HPC does. This suggests that human interest will be an un-eliminative part of a satisfactory account of natural kindness. We conclude by discussing the implication of interest-relativity to the naturalness, reality, or objectivity of kinds and indicating an overlooked aspect of natural kinds that requires further studies.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Onishi, Yukinori
Serpico, Davide
Keywords: Natural kinds; Interest-relativity; Homeostatic property clusters; Homeostatic mechanisms; Causal networks; Stable property clusters.
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Natural Kinds
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Depositing User: Dr. Davide Serpico
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2021 19:17
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2021 19:17
Item ID: 19190
Journal or Publication Title: Journal for General Philosophy of Science
Official URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10838-0...
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10838-020-09527-1
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Natural Kinds
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Date: 2021
ISSN: 0925-4560
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/19190

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