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Natural Kinds And Classification In Scientific Practice

Author : Catherine Kendig
ISBN : 9781317215431
Genre : Science
File Size : 89.6 MB
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This edited volume of 13 new essays aims to turn past discussions of natural kinds on their head. Instead of presenting a metaphysical view of kinds based largely on an unempirical vantage point, it pursues questions of kindedness which take the use of kinds and activities of kinding in practice as significant in the articulation of them as kinds. The book brings philosophical study of current and historical episodes and case studies from various scientific disciplines to bear on natural kinds as traditionally conceived of within metaphysics. Focusing on these practices reveals the different knowledge-producing activities of kinding and processes involved in natural kind use, generation, and discovery. Specialists in their field, the esteemed group of contributors use diverse empirically responsive approaches to explore the nature of kindhood. This groundbreaking volume presents detailed case studies that exemplify kinding in use. Newly written for this volume, each chapter engages with the activities of kinding across a variety of disciplines. Chapter topics include the nature of kinds, kindhood, kinding, and kind-making in linguistics, chemical classification, neuroscience, gene and protein classification, colour theory in applied mathematics, homology in comparative biology, sex and gender identity theory, memory research, race, extended cognition, symbolic algebra, cartography, and geographic information science. The volume seeks to open up an as-yet unexplored area within the emerging field of philosophy of science in practice, and constitutes a valuable addition to the disciplines of philosophy and history of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Category: Science

Processes Of Life

Author : John Dupré
ISBN : 9780199691982
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 48.53 MB
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John Dupré explores recent revolutionary developments in biology and considers their relevance for our understanding of human nature and society. He reveals how the advance of genetic science is changing our view of the constituents of life, and shows how an understanding of microbiology will overturn standard assumptions about the living world.
Category: Philosophy

Natural Kinds And Genesis

Author : Stewart Umphrey
ISBN : 9781498531429
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 46.79 MB
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In Natural Kinds and Genesis: The Classification of Material Entities, Stewart Umphrey raises and answers two questions: What is it to be a natural kind? And are there in fact any natural kinds? First, using the everyday understanding of things, he argues that natural kinds may be understood as classes or as types, and that the members or tokens of such kinds are individual continuants. A continuant is essentially a being-in-becoming, a material thing which changes and yet remains the same, in virtue of its nature or essence, as long as it exists. In the primary sense of the term, then, a natural kind is a class whose members closely resemble one another substantially, in virtue of their essences. Alternatively, it is a type whose tokens exemplify it in virtue of their essences. To answer the second question, one must make use of relevant scientific theories as well. Umphrey agrees with scientific essentialists that there are natural kinds, but he argues that most of the chemical, physical, and biological kinds posited in current theories are not natural kinds in the primary sense of the term. The natural-kinds realism he affirms is thus quite restricted: it requires the existence of enduring things which closely resemble one another in virtue of their essences, and such things exist, apparently, only if they have come into being, or emerged, in the course of symmetry-breaking events. Natural Kinds and Genesis will be of interest to philosophers of science and to those interested in the metaphysics of natural kinds and their members.
Category: Philosophy

Scientific Enquiry And Natural Kinds

Author : P.D. Magnus
ISBN : 9780230369177
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 21.56 MB
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There are certainly some scientific categories which are merely conveniences introduced to organize complicated data, but others correspond to genuine features of the world. These are indispensable for successful science in some domain; in short, they are natural kinds. This book gives a general account of what it is to be a natural kind. It untangles philosophical puzzles surrounding natural kinds. Natural kinds can be practical, and we can identify them without pretending to know the fundamental structure of reality. The account is then put to work to illuminate specific examples, such as the category planet and the fate of Pluto, species like the common mallard and the species category itself, cognition and distributed cognition, animal signals and the threats they signify, and even baked goods.
Category: Philosophy

Philosophy Of Chemistry

Author : Andrea Woody
ISBN : 9780444516756
Genre : Mathematics
File Size : 76.63 MB
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Philosophy of Chemistry investigates the foundational concepts and methods of chemistry, the science of the nature of substances and their transformations. This groundbreaking collection, the most thorough treatment of the philosophy of chemistry ever published, brings together philosophers, scientists and historians to map out the central topics in the field. The 33 articles address the history of the philosophy of chemistry and the philosophical importance of some central figures in the history of chemistry; the nature of chemical substances; central chemical concepts and methods, including the chemical bond, the periodic table and reaction mechanisms; and chemistry's relationship to other disciplines such as physics, molecular biology, pharmacy and chemical engineering. This volume serves as a detailed introduction for those new to the field as well as a rich source of new insights and potential research agendas for those already engaged with the philosophy of chemistry. Provides a bridge between philosophy and current scientific findings Encourages multi-disciplinary dialogue Covers theory and applications
Category: Mathematics

Natural Categories And Human Kinds

Author : Muhammad Ali Khalidi
ISBN : 9781107244597
Genre : Science
File Size : 21.70 MB
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The notion of 'natural kinds' has been central to contemporary discussions of metaphysics and philosophy of science. Although explicitly articulated by nineteenth-century philosophers like Mill, Whewell and Venn, it has a much older history dating back to Plato and Aristotle. In recent years, essentialism has been the dominant account of natural kinds among philosophers, but the essentialist view has encountered resistance, especially among naturalist metaphysicians and philosophers of science. Informed by detailed examination of classification in the natural and social sciences, this book argues against essentialism and for a naturalist account of natural kinds. By looking at case studies drawn from diverse scientific disciplines, from fluid mechanics to virology and polymer science to psychiatry, the author argues that natural kinds are nodes in causal networks. On the basis of this account, he maintains that there can be natural kinds in the social sciences as well as the natural sciences.
Category: Science

Philosophy Of Biology

Author :
ISBN : 0080471242
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 37.37 MB
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Philosophy of Biology is a rapidly expanding field. It is concerned with explanatory concepts in evolution, genetics, and ecology. This collection of 25 essays by leading researchers provides an overview of the state of the field. These essays are wholly new; none of them could have been written even ten years ago. They demonstrate how philosophical analysis has been able to contribute to sometimes contested areas of scientific theory making. -Written by internationally acknowledged leaders in the field - Entries make original contributions as well as summarizing state of the art discoveries in the field - Easy to read and understand
Category: Philosophy

Scientific Pluralism Reconsidered

Author : Stephanie Ruphy
ISBN : 9780822981534
Genre : Science
File Size : 71.15 MB
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Can we expect our scientific theories to make up a unified structure, or do they form a kind of “patchwork” whose pieces remain independent from each other? Does the proliferation of sometimes-incompatible representations of the same phenomenon compromise the ability of science to deliver reliable knowledge? Is there a single correct way to classify things that science should try to discover, or is taxonomic pluralism here to stay? These questions are at the heart of philosophical debate on the unity or plurality of science, one of the most central issues in philosophy of science today. This book offers a critical overview and a new structure of this debate. It focuses on the methodological, epistemic, and metaphysical commitments of various philosophical attitudes surrounding monism and pluralism, and offers novel perspectives and pluralist theses on scientific methods and objects, reductionism, plurality of representations, natural kinds, and scientific classifications.
Category: Science

What Emotions Really Are

Author : Paul E. Griffiths
ISBN : 0226308766
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 32.10 MB
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In this provocative contribution to the philosophy of science and mind, Paul E. Griffiths criticizes contemporary philosophy and psychology of emotion for failing to take in an evolutionary perspective and address current work in neurobiology and cognitive science. Reviewing the three current models of emotion, Griffiths points out their deficiencies and constructs a basis for future models that pay equal attention to biological fact and conceptual rigor. "Griffiths has written a work of depth and clarity in an area of murky ambiguity, producing a much-needed standard at the border of science, philosophy, and psychology. . . . As he presents his case, offering a forthright critique of past and present theories, Griffiths touches on such issues as evolution, social construction, natural kinds (categories corresponding with real distinctions in nature), cognition, and moods. While addressing specialists, the book will reward general readers who apply themselves to its remarkably accessible style."—Library Journal "What Emotions Really Are makes a strong claim to be one of the best books to have emerged on the subject of human emotion."—Ray Dolan, Nature
Category: Psychology

Biological Individuality

Author : Scott Lidgard
ISBN : 9780226446592
Genre : Science
File Size : 84.56 MB
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Individuals are things that everybody knows—or thinks they do. Yet even scholars who practice or analyze the biological sciences often cannot agree on what an individual is and why. One reason for this disagreement is that the many important biological individuality concepts serve very different purposes—defining, classifying, or explaining living structure, function, interaction, persistence, or evolution. Indeed, as the contributors to Biological Individuality reveal, nature is too messy for simple definitions of this concept, organisms too quirky in the diverse ways they reproduce, function, and interact, and human ideas about individuality too fraught with philosophical and historical meaning. Bringing together biologists, historians, and philosophers, this book provides a multifaceted exploration of biological individuality that identifies leading and less familiar perceptions of individuality both past and present, what they are good for, and in what contexts. Biological practice and theory recognize individuals at myriad levels of organization, from genes to organisms to symbiotic systems. We depend on these notions of individuality to address theoretical questions about multilevel natural selection and Darwinian fitness; to illuminate empirical questions about development, function, and ecology; to ground philosophical questions about the nature of organisms and causation; and to probe historical and cultural circumstances that resonate with parallel questions about the nature of society. Charting an interdisciplinary research agenda that broadens the frameworks in which biological individuality is discussed, this book makes clear that in the realm of the individual, there is not and should not be a direct path from biological paradigms based on model organisms through to philosophical generalization and historical reification.
Category: Science