The Semantics and Metaphysics of Natural Kinds (Routledge Studies in Metaphysics)


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Introduction

Bourne, C. In: Correia, F. Synthese Library Houten, The Netherlands: Springer Netherlands, pp. Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies 35 2 , pp. Constantinescu, Cristian Value incomparability and indeterminacy. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 1 , pp. Fricker, Miranda Group testimony?

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The making of a collective good informant. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 2 , pp. Friend, Stacie Fiction as a genre. Gemes, Ken Life-denial versus life-affirmation: Schopenhauer and Nietzsche on pessimism and asceticism. In: Vandenabeele, B. A Companion to Schopenhauer. Hoboken, U.

Grant, James The value of imaginativeness. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 2 , pp. Hornsby, Jennifer Actions and activity. Philosophical Issues 22 1 , pp. Hornsby, Jennifer Book review: knowing how and knowing that. The Philosophers' Magazine 57 2 , pp. ISSN X. Hornsby, Jennifer Knowledge of meaning and epistemic interdependence.


  1. Fundamentals of DSL Technology.
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In: Schantz, E. Prospects for Meaning. Current Issues in Theoretical Philosophy 3. Berlin, Germany: De Gruyter, pp. Hornsby, Jennifer and Antony, L. Jurisprudence 2 2 , pp. Huddleston, Andrew Art as culture and culture as art: tracing a theme from the birth of tragedy to Nietzsche's later Work. Huddleston, Andrew In defense of artistic values.

Neo-Davidsonian Metaphysics : Samuel C. Wheeler :

Philosophical Quarterly 62 , pp. Huddleston, Andrew Naughty beliefs. Philosophical Studies 2 , pp. Huddleston, Andrew Nietzsche and the contingency of greatness. Huddleston, Andrew Nietzsche on the standing of values. Huddleston, Andrew The conversation argument for actual intentionalism. British Journal of Aesthetics 52 3 , pp. James, Susan Rights as an expression of republican freedom.

James, Susan Spinoza on philosophy, religion and politics. James, Susan Spinoza on philosophy, religion, and politics: the theologico-political treatise. James, Susan Spinoza on the passionate dimension of philosophical reasoning. In: Ebbersmeyer, S. Emotional Minds. Berlin, Germany: de Gruyter. James, Susan When does truth matter? Spinoza on the relation between theology and philosophy.

What is METAPHYSICS? What does METAPHYSICS mean? METAPHYSICS meaning, definition & explanation

European Journal of Philosophy 20 1 , pp. James, Susan Wollstonecraft on rights.

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Kurbis, Nils How fundamental is the fundamental assumption? Teorema 31 2 , pp. Lillehammer, Hallvard Autonomy, value and the first person. In: Radoilska, L. Autonomy and Mental Disorder. International Perspectives in Philosophy and Psychiatry. Mind , pp. Northcott, Robert Degree of explanation. Synthese , ISSN Northcott, Robert Genetic traits and causal explanation.

Neo-Davidsonian Metaphysics : From the True to the Good

In: Plaisance, K. This, it is maintained, is an objectionable consequence of the view in question. This, they submit, is because certain sentences, all of whose general terms function predicatively, have different possible-worlds truth conditions depending on whether the accidental or the rigid hypothesis is correct. Consider a possible world in which Loch Ness and the sky are both some color other than blue -- say, red -- and consider sentence 2.

If the accidental hypothesis is correct, then a predicative occurrence of 'the color of the sky' designates the color blue. If a predicative occurrence of 'the color of the sky' designates the color blue, then the occurrence of 'the actual color of the sky' in 2 rigidly designates the color blue.

If the occurrence of 'the actual color of the sky' in 2 rigidly designates the color blue, then 2 is false with respect to any world of the sort described above. So, if the accidental hypothesis is correct, then 2 is false with respect to any world of the sort described above. If the rigid hypothesis is correct, then a predicative occurrence of 'the color of the sky' designates the property of being the color of the sky. If a predicative occurrence of 'the color of the sky' designates the property of being the color of the sky, then the occurrence of 'the actual color of the sky' in 2 rigidly designates the property of being the color of the sky.

If the occurrence of 'the actual color of the sky' in 2 rigidly designates the property of being the color of the sky, then 2 is true with respect to any world of the sort described above. So, if the rigid hypothesis is correct, then 2 is true with respect to any world of the sort described above. I see no significant problem with argument 1. Argument 2 strikes me as plausible. However, it contains an awkwardness that renders it less than fully convincing. The awkwardness is that the argument assumes that its second premise is true while it would seem that a proponent of the rigidity hypothesis must regard that premise as false, on pain of identifying the first-order property of being the color of the sky with the first-order property of being the actual color of the sky.

Further discussion of the elements underlying this awkwardness would be welcome. Is there a viable version of the rigidity hypothesis that denies the second premise? In attacking the view that such terms constitute a semantically special class of general terms, she attacks more specifically the views that they are special because rigid and the view that they are special because non-descriptive. Wikforss's main criticism of the claim that natural kind terms are special because rigid according to this conception is that if natural kind terms are rigid on this conception, then so are simple non-natural kind terms such as 'table', 'attorney', and 'bachelor'.

This strikes me as a cogent criticism of the view that such terms are semantically special because rigid on this conception. In attacking the view that natural kind terms are semantically special because non-descriptive, Wikforss considers three difficulties in particular. First, there is the worry that there are natural kind terms, such as ' H 2 O ', that many would want to characterize as descriptive. Second, there is the worry that the alleged non-descriptionality of natural kind terms would make scientific investigation required to tell whether a purported natural kind term is really a non-descriptive natural kind term or a descriptive non-natural kind term.

Finally, there is the worry that the alleged non-descriptionality of natural kind terms is unmotivated by traditional Kripke-style arguments.

Wikforss takes these considerations to suggest that the correct account of the meanings of all kind terms natural and not is in terms of an old-fashioned cluster-of-descriptions theory. In attacking the view that natural terms are meta-semantically special, Wikforss attacks more specifically the view that they are special because they have their reference fixed via descriptions of the form 'The "such and such" kind of which these samples are instances', where the "such and such" kind of which these samples are instances is a kind membership which is entirely essentially a matter of "underlying" properties.

It also leaves this reader wondering whether a more nuanced version of the view that natural kind terms are meta-semantically special might survive her attack. In "The Commonalities between Proper Names and Natural Kind Terms: A Fregean Perspective", Noonan defends a Fregean descriptivist perspective on names and natural kind terms from Kripke's arguments against such views, and he provides a Fregean account of the Kripkean alleged phenomena of the necessary a posteriori and the contingent a priori.

He argues that there are in fact no necessary a posteriori or contingent a priori truths. Although I am inclined to disagree with its central tenets, his essay is exceptionally strong -- easily one of the most sophisticated, most plausible, and best worked out defenses one can find of a thoroughly Fregean account of names and natural kind terms.

LaPorte, in "Theoretical Identity Statements, Their Truth, and Their Discovery", contrasts his own view of theoretical identity statements with what he takes to be the received view of such statements and he defends his view from various criticisms. The received view LaPorte discusses is that typical theoretical identity statements e. LaPorte grants that such statements are sometimes true, but denies that they are scientifically discovered to be true.

According to LaPorte, when such statements end up true, this is because scientists have come to use previously existing terms with precisified meanings not determined by previously established usage. For example, scientists came to use the term 'water' so as to apply it to all and only instances of H 2 O, even though previous use of 'water' was consistent with a decision to let it apply to other superficially similar substances as well and with a decision to let it not apply to forms of H 2 O containing ionized hydrogen atoms.

Rigidity, natural kind terms and metasemantics

In "Discovering the Essences of Natural Kinds", Bird defends the view that theoretical identity statements are often discovered, not stipulated, to be true from LaPorte's attack. Where LaPorte sees resolved semantic indeterminacy for natural kind terms, Bird sees conceptual change and non-natural kind terms. According to Bird, if 'water' was in fact a preexisting natural kind term and scientists had decided to use 'water' to apply only to unionized forms of H 2 O, then this would have involved conceptual change and not resolution of a semantic indeterminacy.

Bird also argues that LaPorte's apparatus is unable to account for certain examples of theoretical identities involving technically introduced scientific terms. He argues cogently through careful historical analysis of the context in which the term 'actinium' was introduced, for example, that the statement 'actinium is the element with atomic number 89', as it is currently used, was discovered, not stipulated to be true. Hendry, in "The Elements and Conceptual Change", defends a Putnam-style account of how certain terms from chemistry function. This account explains how continuity of reference through radical changes in theory actually occurred in the case of certain terms for chemical elements.

For example, it explains how Antoine Lavoisier was able to use the term 'oxygen' to refer to oxygen even though he lacked the contemporary concept of nuclear charge which today individuates the elements. According to Hendry's account, Lavoisier was able to use 'oxygen' so as to apply to oxygen because i the property of having atomic charge 8 in fact played a certain role in explaining certain chemical behaviors Lavoisier sought to explain and because ii he used the term 'oxygen' with, more or less, the intention of letting it apply to those components of substances that have the underlying property, whatever that might have been, that played a certain role in explaining the chemical behaviors in question.

As Hendry notes, this picture supports the view that the statement 'Oxygen is the element with atomic charge of 8' expresses a discovery and not, as LaPorte would maintain, a stipulation. In this way, Hendry's article bolsters Bird's criticism of LaPorte.

grupoavigase.com/includes/288/4952-templanza-y.php One feature of this article that sets it apart from most standard discussions of Putnam-style views is its focus on historical detail in arguing for the claims it does. The article appears to represent a significant contribution to our understanding of these matters.

As a group, the articles by LaPorte, Bird and Hendry are a major highlight of the volume, and there appears to be much for us to learn from them. Beebee and Sabbarton-Leary consider the term 'ununbium' and the theoretical identity statement 3. They argue that given the conventions governing the use of 'ununbium', 3 is guaranteed to be true by convention and that because of this 3 expresses an a priori , not an a posteriori , necessity.

They argue for parallel conclusions regarding a number of other interesting examples as well.


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  • They also maintain that the fact that 3 does not express an a posteriori necessity can be used to argue against ESE. Their main argument in favor of this claim, I think, can faithfully be reconstructed as follows:. If 3 does not express an a posteriori necessity, then 'ununbium' does not designate a kind that gives rise to a posteriori necessities. If ESE is correct, then 'ununbium' doesn't designate a natural kind unless it designates one that gives rise to a posteriori necessities.

    This argument places some pressure on the proponent of ESE, but it strikes me as less than conclusive. A proponent of ESE, it seems to me, has two plausible lines of response to consider. First, a proponent of ESE might plausibly argue in a Donnellan-inspired manner that the truth expressed by P1 cannot in fact be known to be true a priori even if the sentence 3 better, a conditionalized version of 3 is guaranteed to express a truth by convention. Alternatively, a proponent of ESE might accept the first premise of the argument and reject the second.

    More specifically, a proponent of ESE might plausibly maintain that 'ununbium' designates a kind whose essence is that of having atomic number , that the essence of the kind in question gives rise to an a posteriori necessity to the effect that that kind is the element with atomic number , and that 3 does not express this necessity.

    The Semantics and Metaphysics of Natural Kinds (Routledge Studies in Metaphysics) The Semantics and Metaphysics of Natural Kinds (Routledge Studies in Metaphysics)
    The Semantics and Metaphysics of Natural Kinds (Routledge Studies in Metaphysics) The Semantics and Metaphysics of Natural Kinds (Routledge Studies in Metaphysics)
    The Semantics and Metaphysics of Natural Kinds (Routledge Studies in Metaphysics) The Semantics and Metaphysics of Natural Kinds (Routledge Studies in Metaphysics)
    The Semantics and Metaphysics of Natural Kinds (Routledge Studies in Metaphysics) The Semantics and Metaphysics of Natural Kinds (Routledge Studies in Metaphysics)
    The Semantics and Metaphysics of Natural Kinds (Routledge Studies in Metaphysics) The Semantics and Metaphysics of Natural Kinds (Routledge Studies in Metaphysics)
    The Semantics and Metaphysics of Natural Kinds (Routledge Studies in Metaphysics) The Semantics and Metaphysics of Natural Kinds (Routledge Studies in Metaphysics)
    The Semantics and Metaphysics of Natural Kinds (Routledge Studies in Metaphysics) The Semantics and Metaphysics of Natural Kinds (Routledge Studies in Metaphysics)
    The Semantics and Metaphysics of Natural Kinds (Routledge Studies in Metaphysics) The Semantics and Metaphysics of Natural Kinds (Routledge Studies in Metaphysics)

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