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Are animal breeds social kinds?

Vidal, Oriol and Teira, David (2023) Are animal breeds social kinds? Synthese, 201. ISSN 1573-0964

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Breeds are classifications of domestic animals that share, to a certain degree, a set of conventional phenotypic traits. We are going to defend that, despite classifying biological entities, animal breeds are social kinds. We will adopt Godman’s view of social kinds, classifications with predictive power based on social learning processes. We will show that, although the folk concept of animal breed refers to a biological kind, there is no way to define it. The expert definitions of breeds are instead based on socially learnt conventions and skills (artificial selection), yielding groupings in which scientific predictions are possible. We will discuss in what sense breeds are social, but not human kinds and in what sense the concept of a breed is necessary to make them real.

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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Vidal, Oriol
Teira, David
Keywords: Race Breed Human kinds Domination Amnesia
Subjects: General Issues > Natural Kinds
Depositing User: Prof. David Teira
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2023 18:17
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2023 18:17
Item ID: 21680
Journal or Publication Title: Synthese
Publisher: Springer (Springer Science+Business Media B.V.)
Official URL:
DOI or Unique Handle:
Subjects: General Issues > Natural Kinds
Date: 1 January 2023
Volume: 201
ISSN: 1573-0964

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