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Emotions, Concepts and the Indeterminacy of Natural Kinds

Taylor, Henry (2018) Emotions, Concepts and the Indeterminacy of Natural Kinds. [Preprint]

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Abstract

A central question for philosophical psychology is which mental faculties form natural kinds. There is hot debate over the kind status of faculties as diverse as consciousness, seeing, concepts, emotions, constancy and the senses. In this paper, I take emotions and concepts as my main focus, and argue that questions over the kind status of these faculties are complicated by the undeservedly overlooked fact that natural kinds are indeterminate in certain ways. I will show that indeterminacy issues have led to an impasse in the debates over emotions and concepts. I examine possible ways to resolve this impasse, and argue against one of them. I then suggest a different method, which places more emphasis on a close analysis of predictive and explanatory practices in psychology. I argue that when we apply this method, a new position emerges: that it is indeterminate whether concepts or emotions are natural kinds. They are neither determinately natural kinds, nor determinately not natural kinds. Along the way, we will see that natural kinds have been put to two completely different theoretical uses, which are often been blurred together, and that they are ill-suited to fulfil one of them.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Taylor, Henryj.h.taylor.1@bham.ac.uk0000-0001-7504-0283
Keywords: Emotions, Concepts, Natural Kinds, Psychology
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Dr Henry Taylor
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2018 15:25
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2018 15:25
Item ID: 14533
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Psychology
Date: 2018
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14533

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