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Confusion and dependence in uses of history

Slutsky, David (2010) Confusion and dependence in uses of history. [Published Article]

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Abstract

Many people argue that history makes a special difference to the subjects of biology and psychology, and that history does not make this special difference to other parts of the world. This paper will show that historical properties make no more or less of a difference to biology or psychology than to chemistry, physics, or other sciences. Although historical properties indeed make a certain kind of difference to biology and psychology, this paper will show that historical properties make the same kind of difference to geology, sociology, astronomy, and other sciences. Similarly, many people argue that nonhistorical properties make a special difference to the nonbiological and the nonpsychological world. This paper will show that nonhistorical properties make the same difference to all things in the world when it comes to their causal behavior and that historical properties make the same difference to all things in the world when it comes to their distributions. Although history is special, it is special in the same way to all parts of the world.


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Item Type: Published Article
Additional Information: Synthese published this article in their "Online First" category on October 1, 2010. I believe the journal will assign the article to a specific volume and issue within the next 18 months or so.
Keywords: natural kind, historical kinds, explanation, behavior, essential properties, historical properties, indispensability, generalizations, distributions, nonhistorical properties, causal activity, copied kinds, real kinds, prediction, supervenience
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
Specific Sciences > Biology > Function/Teleology
General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Depositing User: David Slutsky
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2011 00:27
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2011 00:27
Item ID: 8454
Journal or Publication Title: Synthese
Publisher: Springer (Springer Science+Business Media B.V.)
Official URL: http://www.springerlink.com/content/83441985785461...
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/8454

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