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Carving Nature at Its Joints Natural Kinds in Metaphysics and Science

ISBN-10: 0262516268

ISBN-13: 9780262516266

Edition: 2011

Authors: Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke, Matthew H. Slater, Richard D. Campbell, Alexander Bird

List price: $32.00
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Description:

Contemporary discussions of the success of science often invoke an ancient metaphor from Plato's Phaedrus: successful theories should "carve nature at its joints." But is nature really "jointed"? Are there natural kinds of things around which our theories cut? The essays in this volume offer reflections by a distinguished group of philosophers on a series of intertwined issues in the metaphysics and epistemology of classification. The contributors consider such topics as the relevance of natural kinds in inductive inference; the role of natural kinds in natural laws; the nature of fundamental properties; the naturalness of boundaries; the metaphysics and epistemology of biological kinds; and the relevance of biological kinds to certain questions in ethics. Carving Nature at Its Joints offers both breadth and thematic unity, providing a sampling of state-of-the-art work in contemporary analytic philosophy that will be of interest to a wide audience of scholars and students concerned with classification.
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Book details

List price: $32.00
Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 10/28/2011
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 368
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.320
Language: English

Joseph Keim Campbell is Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Washington State University.

Matthew H. Slater is Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Bucknell University.

Foreword
Acknowledgments
introduction: Lessons from the Scientific Butchery
Induction, Samples, and Kinds
It Takes More Than All Kinds to Make a World
Lange and Laws, Kinds, and Counterfactuals
Are Fundamental Laws Necessary or Contingent?
Para-Natural Kinds
Boundaries, Conventions, and Realism
Natural Kinds and Biological Realisms
Three Ways of Resisting Essentialism about Natural Kinds
Arthritis and Nature's Joints
Predicting Populations by Modeling Individuals
Similarity and Species Concepts
Species Concepts and Natural Goodness
How to Think about the Free Will/Determinism Problem
Contributors
Index