PSA2016: The 25th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association

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Symposium: Natural Kinds and Mind Independence

Saturday, 5 November 2016
13:30 - 15:30

Piedmont 3 (12th Floor)

Chair: Zdenka Brzovic, University of Rijeka

Just what distinguishes the natural kinds from non-natural or artificial kinds? Though there is no consensus answer to this question, it has been customary to maintain that ‘real’ or genuine’ natural kinds are distinctive in not depending in any way on human thought (Bird and Tobin 2015, Lowe 2014, Devitt 2005, Searle 1995). Yet this often-assumed mind-independence approach faces difficulties, both because it threatens to rule ‘non-natural’ the psychological kinds that straightforwardly depend on human thought, and because it can be unclear just why mind-independence is so important for the naturalness of a kind in the first place. The aim of the proposed session is to bring to light these difficulties as well as to investigate how the mind-independence requirement on natural kinds might be developed and defended so as to avoid them.

Mind-Dependent Kinds
Muhammad Ali Khalidi, York University,
Natural Kinds, Mind Independence, and Defeasibility
Marc Ereshefsky, University of Calgary,
The Mind-Independence Standard for Natural Kind Realism
Laura Franklin-Hall, New York University,
Cross-Cultural Convergence and Mind-Independence
David Ludwig, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam,


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