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Classificatory norms in scientific practice: the unobjective but rational *chemical element*.

Barker, Matthew J. and Slater, Matthew H. (2020) Classificatory norms in scientific practice: the unobjective but rational *chemical element*. In: UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

It is often presumed that empirical considerations provide epistemic objectivity for claims about the boundaries and classification of scientific categories. This has seemed especially plausible in chemistry. Focusing on the category chemical element, we describe two 20th century developments that undermine epistemic objectivism about it. But our second thesis is that, in practice, this shortfall is bridged by relying on a little-recognized species of pragmatic norm: classificatory norms. We contend this precludes the objectivity, yet ironically affords the rationality, of related category and classification claims.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Barker, Matthew J.matthew.barker@concordia.ca
Slater, Matthew H.mhs016@bucknell.edu
Additional Information: This is a shorter version of a longer manuscript first drafted in October 2019
Keywords: Chemical element, categories, classification, norms, pragmatic
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Chemistry
General Issues > Conventionalism
General Issues > Natural Kinds
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Values In Science
Depositing User: Matthew Barker
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2020 03:58
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2020 03:58
Item ID: 17380
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Chemistry
General Issues > Conventionalism
General Issues > Natural Kinds
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Values In Science
Date: 5 March 2020
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/17380

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