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Synergic Kinds

Martínez, Manolo (2017) Synergic Kinds. [Preprint]


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According to the *homeostatic property cluster* family of accounts, one of the main conditions for groups of properties to count as natural is that these properties be frequently co-instantiated. I argue that this condition is, in fact, not necessary for natural-kindness. Furthermore, even when it is present, the focus on co-occurrence distorts the role natural kinds play in science.

Co-occurrence corresponds to what information theorists call *redundancy*: observing the presence of some of the properties in a frequently co-occurrent cluster makes observations of other members of the cluster comparatively uninformative. Yet, scientific practice often, and increasingly often, singles out as natural groups of properties that are not redundant, but synergic: instantiations of properties in synergic clusters are not necessarily informative about instantiations of other properties in the cluster; rather, it is their *joint* instantiation that plays the explanatory role for which the natural kind is recruited.

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Item Type: Preprint
Martínez, Manolomail@manolomartinez.net0000-0002-6194-7121
Keywords: Homeostatic Property Clusters; information theory; synergy; redundancy; Natural kinds; Richard Boyd; Epistasis; Connectomics
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Depositing User: Dr. Manolo Martínez
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2017 15:59
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2017 15:59
Item ID: 13153
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Date: 2017

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