Scientific Enquiry and Natural Kinds: From Planets to Mallards

Hardcover | November 27, 2012

byP.D. Magnus

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There are certainly some scientific categories which are merely conveniences introduced to organize complicated data, but others correspond to genuine features of the world. These are indispensable for successful science in some domain; in short, they are natural kinds. This book gives a general account of what it is to be a natural kind. It untangles philosophical puzzles surrounding natural kinds. Natural kinds can be practical, and we can identify them without pretending to know the fundamental structure of reality. The account is then put to work to illuminate specific examples, such as the category planet and the fate of Pluto, species like the common mallard and the species category itself, cognition and distributed cognition, animal signals and the threats they signify, and even baked goods.

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There are certainly some scientific categories which are merely conveniences introduced to organize complicated data, but others correspond to genuine features of the world. These are indispensable for successful science in some domain; in short, they are natural kinds. This book gives a general account of what it is to be a natural ki...

P.D. MAGNUS is Associate Professor and teaches philosophy at the University at Albany, SUNY, USA. He has been a visiting fellow at the Center for Philosophy of Science in Pittsburgh, he is the co-editor (with Jacob Busch) of New Waves in Philosophy of Science, and he is the author or co-author of dozens of published essays.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:222 pages, 10.16 × 5.68 × 0.85 inPublished:November 27, 2012Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230369170

ISBN - 13:9780230369177

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Acknowledgements
Introduction
How to Think About Natural Kinds
A Modest Definition
Natural Kinds Put to Work
Practical and Impractical Ontology
The Menace of Triviality
Causal Processes and Property Clusters
Conclusion
Bibliography
Index