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Axiomathes

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 1–12 | Cite as

Authority and Natural Kind Essence

  • Jonah GoldwaterEmail author
Original Paper
  • 353 Downloads

Abstract

If natural kinds have microstructural essences they have them independently of rules for the application of kind terms. This suggests that what those rules are should make no difference to the essences being discoverable. I present two thought-experiments that suggest otherwise, however. Each shows an authority’s application of rules creates the appearance of there being kind essences; absent those rules, the appearance vanishes. This suggests natural kind essences are not independent of authority-sanctioned rules.

Keywords

Natural kinds Conventionalism Anti-realism 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The College of William and MaryWilliamsburgUSA

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