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Against Natural Kind Eliminativism

Conix, Stijn and Chi, Pei-Shan (2020) Against Natural Kind Eliminativism. [Preprint]

Conix & PS Chi - Against natural kind eliminativism - accepted manuscript.pdf

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It has recently been argued that the concept of natural kinds should be eliminated because it does not play a productive theoretical role and even harms philosophical research on scientific classification. We argue that this justification for eliminativism fails because the notion of ‘natural kinds’ plays another epistemic role in philosophical research, namely, it enables fruitful investigation into non-arbitrary classification. It does this in two ways: first, by providing a fruitful investigative entry into scientific classification; and second – as is supported by bibliometric evidence – by tying together a research community devoted to non-arbitrary classification. The question of eliminativism then requires weighing off the benefits of retaining the concept against its harms. We argue that the progressive state of philosophical work on natural kinds tips this balance in favour of retaining the concept.

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Item Type: Preprint
Conix, Stijn0000-0002-1487-0213
Chi, Pei-Shan0000-0001-6924-5725
Additional Information: Accepted for publication in Synthese
Keywords: Natural kind; classification; eliminativism; pluralism; bibliometric analysis; investigative kind;
Subjects: General Issues > Natural Kinds
Depositing User: Dr Stijn Conix
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2020 02:54
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2020 02:54
Item ID: 16955
Subjects: General Issues > Natural Kinds
Date: 27 February 2020

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