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: 01 March 2021

Three Ways of Resisting Essentialism about Natural Kinds

Three Ways of Resisting Essentialism about Natural Kinds

Chapter:
(p.175) 9 Three Ways of Resisting Essentialism about Natural Kinds
Source:
Carving Nature at Its Joints
Author(s):

Bence Nanay

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262015936.003.0009

This chapter begins by presenting the three main principles of essentialism. The first principle is that all and only members of a natural kind have some essential properties. The second is that these essential properties play a causal role. The third and final principle is that they are explanatorily relevant. Questions that arise regarding these principles are examined and it is argued here that arguing against the first and the second principles of kind-essentialism would involve taking part in some of the grand debates of philosophy. However, if the scope of discussion is restricted to the biological realm, the third principle can be questioned more successfully. Essentialism about natural kinds can have different meanings; for one, it can refer to being essentialist about individuals and kinds. There are also a variety of possible definitions for essentialism about kinds, the most general of which is utilized in this chapter.

Keywords:   essentialism, natural kind, essential properties, causal role, explanatorily relevant, kind-essentialism, biological realm

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.