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Carving Nature at Its Joints
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Carving Nature at Its Joints: Natural Kinds in Metaphysics and Science

Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke, and Matthew H. Slater

Abstract

Contemporary discussions of the success of science often invoke an ancient metaphor from Plato’s Phaedrus: successful theories should “carve nature at its joints,” but is nature really “jointed?” Are there natural kinds of things around which our theories cut? This book offers reflections by a group of philosophers on a series of intertwined issues in the metaphysics and epistemology of classification. The chapters consider such topics as the relevance of natural kinds in inductive inference; the role of natural kinds in natural laws; the nature of fundamental properties; the naturalness of bo ... More

Keywords: success of science, successful theories, metaphysics, epistemology of classification, natural kinds, inductive inference, natural laws, fundamental properties, naturalness of boundaries, biological kinds

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780262015936
Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013 DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262015936.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Joseph Keim Campbell, editor

Michael O'Rourke, editor

Matthew H. Slater, editor

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