Part of the BOSTON STUDIES IN THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE book series (BSPS, volume 252)


One of the things that distinguish natural kinds from mere anthropocentric kinds is that the former have an explanatory role to play in scientific reasoning, while the latter do not. One might, as Alexander Bird puts it, “randomly collect diverse things and give the collection a name, but one would not expect it to explain anything to say that a certain object belonged to this collection”.81 It is difficult to see what natural laws or explanations involve notions that are dictated by our anthropocentric predilections and easier to see the explanatory significance of kinds that exist as kinds independently of our conventions.


Atomic Nucleus Natural Kind Essential Property Copper Sulphate Zinc Sulphate 
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