Natural Kinds and Conceptual Change

By: Joseph LaPorte

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According to the received tradition, the language used to refer to natural kinds in scientific discourse remains stable even as theories about these kinds are refined. Hence, scientists discover, rather than stipulate, that sentences like ‘Whales are mammals, not fish’ are true. In this illuminating book, Joseph LaPorte argues that scientists do not discover that sentences about natural kinds, like ‘Whales are mammals, not fish’, are true rather than false. Instead, scientists find that these sentences were vague in the language of earlier speakers, and they refine the meanings of the relevant natural-kind terms to make the sentences true. Hence, scientists change the meanings of these terms. This conclusion prompts LaPorte to examine the consequences of this change in meaning for the issue of incommensurability and for the progress of science. • Combines a skilled treatment of philosophy of language with an unusual knowledge of the relevant biological science • Unifies many ideas discussed separately in the vast literature on natural kinds Contents Introduction; 1. What is a natural kind, and do biological taxa qualify?; 2. Natural kinds, rigidity, and essence; 3. Biological kind term reference and the discovery of essence; 4. Chemical kind term reference and the discovery of essence; 5. Linguistic change and incommensurability; 6. Meaning change, theory change and analyticity. Printed Pages: 232 with 6 line diagrams and 1 half-tone.

Title: Natural Kinds and Conceptual Change

Author Name: Joseph LaPorte

Categories: Language Arts & Disciplines,

Edition: First Edition

Publisher: Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press: 2004

ISBN: 0521825997

ISBN 13: 9780521825993

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition: New

Jacket Condition: New

Size: 228 x 152 Mm

Seller ID: 012837

Keywords: Conceptual Change