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How to Fix Kind Membership: A Problem for HPC-Theory and a Solution

Reydon, Thomas (2008) How to Fix Kind Membership: A Problem for HPC-Theory and a Solution. In: [2008] Philosophy of Science Assoc. 21st Biennial Mtg (Pittsburgh, PA) > PSA 2008 Contributed Papers.

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    Abstract

    Natural kinds are often contrasted with other kinds of scientific kinds, especially functional kinds, because of a presumed categorical difference in explanatory value: natural kinds can ground explanations, while other kinds of kinds cannot. I argue against this view of natural kinds by examining a particular type of explanation – mechanistic explanations – and showing that functional kinds do the same work there as natural kinds are supposed to do in more standard scientific explanations. Breaking down the categorical distinction between natural kinds and other kinds of kinds, I argue, delivers two goods: It provides us with a view of natural kindhood that does justice to the epistemic roles of kinds in scientific explanations. And it allows us to solve a problem that HPC-theory, currently one of the most popular accounts of natural kindhood, confronts.


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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Keywords: natural kinds
    Subjects: General Issues > Explanation
    Conferences and Volumes: [2008] Philosophy of Science Assoc. 21st Biennial Mtg (Pittsburgh, PA) > PSA 2008 Contributed Papers
    Depositing User: Thomas Reydon
    Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2008
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:17
    Item ID: 4301
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/4301

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