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

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The Mind-Independence Standard for Natural Kind Realism

This paper characterizes and responds to two challenges to the traditional, metaphysical approach to realism about natural kinds. On the this approach, the real natural kinds are understood to be fully mind-independent or objective, meaning that fact about which kinds are natural, and which are not, are independent of anything about our ways of thinking—our interests, concepts, or capacities. In particular, I argue that this standard on natural kind realism survives prominent challenges when it is meticulously applied to facts concerning which kinds are natural, rather than to facts concerning the properties of the individuals that constitute natural kinds.

Author Information:

Laura Franklin-Hall    
Department of Philosophy
New York University


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