Conférence publique – 16.11.16 | Marc Ereshefsky – « Natural Kinds, Classification, and Scientific Practice »

Le LEIPS est heureux d’accueillir Marc Ereshefsky (University of Calgary) pour une conférence publique intitulée:

Natural Kinds, Classification, and Scientific Practice

Mercredi 16 novembre 2016 | 16h-18h

Salle 223, Département de philosophie,
Pavillon 2910, boul. Édouard-Montpetit, Université de Montréal

Informations complémentaires :

La conférence sera donnée en anglais (30-45 minutes) et sera suivie d’une période de discussion bilingue (45mn-1h). L’entrée est libre et gratuite dans la limite des places disponibles.

Résumé | Abstract

Philosophers typically require that natural kinds exist independently of human thought. However, requiring that natural kinds be mind-independent is problematic. Many classifications of kinds that help us achieve our epistemic and pragmatic aims refer to entities, psychological states, and behaviors that depend on us. Think of synthetic chemicals, genetically modified organisms, psychological categories, and social kinds. Instead of requiring that natural kinds be mind-independent, I suggest borrowing an idea from epistemology and require that natural kind classifications be defeasible. The notion of defeasibility helps us see when natural kind classifications should and should not depend on us. Such an account is flexible enough to capture the different reasons scientists have for positing natural kind classifications and also places a significant constraint on what is a natural kind.

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