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Synthese

pp 1–41 | Cite as

Rethinking natural kinds, reference and truth: towards more correspondence with reality, not less

  • Richard BoydEmail author
S.I. : Natural Kinds: Language, Science, and Metaphysics
  • 180 Downloads

Abstract

Recent challenges to non-traditional theories of natural kinds demand clarifications and revisions to those theories. Highlights: The semantics of natural kind terms is a special case of a general naturalistic conception of signaling in organisms that explains the epistemic reliability of signaling. Natural kinds and reference are two aspects of the same natural phenomenon. Natural kind definitions are phenomena in nature not linguistic or representational entities; their relation to conceptualized definitions is complex. Reference and truth are special cases of a broader phenomenon of accommodation between aspects of signaling and epistemically relevant causal structures.

Keywords

Natural kinds Reference Naturalistic epistemology Homeostatic property cluster kinds Realism Truth 

Notes

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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