Natural Kinds and Classification in Scientific Practice: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Natural Kinds and Classification in Scientific Practice

1st Edition

Edited by Catherine Kendig


247 pages | 5 B/W Illus.

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This edited volume of 13 new essays aims to turn past discussions of natural kinds on their head. Instead of presenting a metaphysical view of kinds based largely on an unempirical vantage point, it pursues questions of kindedness which take the use of kinds and activities of kinding in practice as significant in the articulation of them as kinds. The book brings philosophical study of current and historical episodes and case studies from various scientific disciplines to bear on natural kinds as traditionally conceived of within metaphysics. Focusing on these practices reveals the different knowledge-producing activities of kinding and processes involved in natural kind use, generation, and discovery.

Specialists in their field, the esteemed group of contributors use diverse empirically responsive approaches to explore the nature of kindhood. This groundbreaking volume presents detailed case studies that exemplify kinding in use. Newly written for this volume, each chapter engages with the activities of kinding across a variety of disciplines. Chapter topics include the nature of kinds, kindhood, kinding, and kind-making in linguistics, chemical classification, neuroscience, gene and protein classification, colour theory in applied mathematics, homology in comparative biology, sex and gender identity theory, memory research, race, extended cognition, symbolic algebra, cartography, and geographic information science.

The volume seeks to open up an as-yet unexplored area within the emerging field of philosophy of science in practice, and constitutes a valuable addition to the disciplines of philosophy and history of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Table of Contents

Preface John Dupré Editor’s Introduction: Activities of Kinding in Scientific Practice Catherine Kendig PART I: Explaining Practices 1. Explanatory Strategies in Linguistic Practice Bernhard Nickel 2. The Rising of Chemical Natural Kinds through Epistemic Iteration Hasok Chang 3. Neuroscientific kinds through the Lens of Scientific Practice Jackie Sullivan PART II: Kinding and Classification 4. From a Zooming-in model to a Co-creation model: Towards a more Dynamic account of Classification and Kinds Thomas A. C. Reydon 5. Protein Tokens, Types, and Taxa Joyce C. Havstad 6. The Performative Construction of Natural Kinds: Mathematical Application as Practice Jordi Cat 7. Homologizing as Kinding Catherine Kendig PART III: The nature of natural kinds 8. Theorizing with a Purpose: The Many Kinds of Sex Sally Haslanger 9. Memory as a cognitive kind: Brains, remembering dyads, and Exograms Samuli Pöyhönen 10. Genuine Kinds and Scientific Reality Quayshawn Spencer PART IV: Shaping scientific disciplines 11. A Tale of two dilemmas: Cognitive kinds and the Extended Mind Michael Wheeler 12. Mathematical kinds? A case study in Nineteenth Century Symbolic Algebra Josipa Petrunic 13. Mapping kinds in GIS and Cartography Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther

About the Editor

Catherine Kendig is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Missouri Western State University. She completed her PhD at the University of Exeter/ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society (Egenis) and her MSc in Philosophy and History of Science at King’s College London. Kendig has research interests in philosophy of scientific classification, natural kinds, philosophy of science in practice, synthetic biology, ethics of new and emerging technologies, and philosophy of race. Her work on these topics is published in Ratio, Science and Engineering Ethics, Science & Education, History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences, and International Studies in the Philosophy of Science.

About the Series

History and Philosophy of Biology

This series explores significant developments in the life sciences from historical and philosophical perspectives. Historical episodes include Aristotelian biology, Greek and Islamic biology and medicine, Renaissance biology, natural history, Darwinian evolution, Nineteenth-century physiology and cell theory, Twentieth-century genetics, ecology, and systematics, and the biological theories and practices of non-Western perspectives. Philosophical topics include individuality, reductionism and holism, fitness, levels of selection, mechanism and teleology, and the nature-nurture debates, as well as explanation, confirmation, inference, experiment, scientific practice, and models and theories vis-à-vis the biological sciences.

Authors are also invited to inquire into the "and" of this series. How has, does, and will the history of biology impact philosophical understandings of life? How can philosophy help us analyze the historical contingency of, and structural constraints on, scientific knowledge about biological processes and systems? In probing the interweaving of history and philosophy of biology, scholarly investigation could usefully turn to values, power, and potential future uses and abuses of biological knowledge.

The scientific scope of the series includes evolutionary theory, environmental sciences, genomics, molecular biology, systems biology, biotechnology, biomedicine, race and ethnicity, and sex and gender. These areas of the biological sciences are not silos, and tracking their impact on other sciences such as psychology, economics, and sociology, and the behavioral and human sciences more generally, is also within the purview of this series.

Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), and Visiting Scholar of Philosophy at Stanford University (2015-2016). He works in the philosophy of science and philosophy of biology and has strong interests in metaphysics, epistemology, and political philosophy, in addition to cartography and GIS, cosmology and particle physics, psychological and cognitive science, and science in general. Recent publications include "The Structure of Scientific Theories," The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and "Race and Biology," The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Race. His book with University of Chicago Press, When Maps Become the World, is forthcoming.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Philosophy & Social Aspects
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General