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

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Natural kinds: toning down the realist hype

Realism about natural kinds is a very attractive view in philosophy of science because it provides us with a straightforward answer to the question why many scientific categories are so successful in scientific explanations and predictions; namely, they correspond to some real or objective divisions in nature. However, realism about natural kinds faces a serious problem of providing an objective, mind-independent criterion for the objectivity of such groupings. I aim to show that it is hard to provide such a criterion for classifications in special sciences, which makes anti-realism about natural kinds a more viable view in this domain.

Author Information:

Zdenka Brzovic    
Department of philosophy
University of Rijeka


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