Perspectives on Classification in Synthetic Sciences : Unnatural Kinds book cover
1st Edition

Perspectives on Classification in Synthetic Sciences
Unnatural Kinds

Edited By

Julia Bursten

ISBN 9781138298101
Published July 8, 2019 by Routledge
200 Pages

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Book Description

This volume launches a new series of contemporary conversations about scientific classification. Most philosophical conversations about kinds have focused centrally or solely on natural kinds, that is, kinds whose existence is not dependent on the scientific process of synthesis. This volume refocuses conversations about classification on unnatural, or synthetic, kinds via extensive study of three paradigm cases of unnatural kinds: nanomaterials, stem cells, and synthetic biology.

Table of Contents

List of Contributors

  1. Introduction

Dialogue one: Historical lenses on classification in chemistry and biology

  1. Evan Hepler-Smith, "Crafting names and making kinds: lessons from the 1892 Geneva Nomenclature Congress"

  2. Aleta Quinn, "Biological kinds at the turn of the 20th century: characters, genes, and species as theoretical elements"

Dialogue two: A new synthesis of concerns about biological kinds

  1. Vadim Keyser, "Artifacts and artefacts: A methodological classification of context-specific regularities"

  2. Catherine Kendig and Bryan A. Bartley, "Synthetic kinds: kind-making in biology"

Dialogue three: Scientific, philosophical, and legal challenges in classifying biological constructs

  1. Ubaka Ogbogu, "What is a new object? Case studies of classification problems and practices at the intersection of law and biotechnology"

  2. Melinda Bonnie Fagan, "Stem cells and nanomaterials as experimental kinds"

Dialogue four: Synthetic kinds in chemistry and nanoscience

  1. Jill E. Millstone and Julia R. S. Bursten, "Nanochemistry meets philosophy of science: a conversation about collaborative classification"

  2. John Rumble, Jr., "Categorization of nanomaterials: tools for being precise"


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Julia R. S. Bursten is Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at The University of Kentucky, USA.