Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Carving Nature at Its JointsNatural Kinds in Metaphysics and Science$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262015936

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262015936.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 15 May 2021

Introduction: Lessons from the Scientific Butchery

Introduction: Lessons from the Scientific Butchery

(p.1) 1 Introduction: Lessons from the Scientific Butchery
Carving Nature at Its Joints

Matthew H. Slater

Andrea Borghini

The MIT Press

This introduction aims to survey and present important contemporary trends and issues regarding natural kinds and takes a look at history so that it may fill in the gaps. It begins by illustrating Plato’s metaphor that compares man to animal, stating that, similar to animals, the world comes to us predivided and that our best theories will be those that “carve nature at its joints.” Although Plato primarily utilized the metaphor as a tool in expressing his view regarding the reality of Forms, its most common contemporary use involves the success of science in identifying distinct kinds of things. Scientists often report the discovery of new kinds of things or uncovering more information about already familiar kinds.

Keywords:   natural kinds, Plato’s metaphor, nature, reality of Forms, distinct kinds of things

MIT Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.