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

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Cross-Cultural Convergence and Mind-Independence

Cross-cultural convergence of taxonomies can be interpreted as illustrating the mind-independence of kinds. Different cultures recognize the same taxa because they discover the same mind-independent discontinuities in nature. In contrast with this interpretation, I argue that mind-independence is neither necessary nor sufficient for convergence. Furthermore, I argue that the criterion of convergence does not pick out the same kinds as other standard criteria for naturalness such as property clustering. Instead of proposing convergence as another competitor for the definition of “natural kind”, however, I suggest to focus on the variety of interesting features of non-arbitrary kinds.

Author Information:

David Ludwig    
Philosophy Department
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


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