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Philosophy Speakers: Answering Hacking's Pessimism about Natural Kinds

Date & Time:
December 8, 2017 | 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Location:
SS 1253
Speaker:
Marc Ereshefsky, UCalgary

About the Talk

"Answering Hacking's Pessimism about Natural Kinds"

What are natural kinds? Ian Hacking is pessimistic about philosophy’s ability to provide a satisfactory answer. In one way, Hacking’s critique is correct. Philosophical accounts of natural kinds assume that all scientists have the same overarching reason for positing natural kinds. Yet scientists have various motivations for classifying. In this presentation, I offer an account of natural kinds that better captures the different reasons scientists have for positing      natural kinds. The account offered provides a more productive approach to natural kinds and blunts Hacking’s pessimism.

About the Speaker

Marc Ereshefsky is a professor in the Philosophy Department at the University of Calgary. He has published numerous books and articles in the philosophy of science and the philosophy of biology. 

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