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Title: Kinds : natural, nominal, scientific Kind terms in science and commonsense.
Author: McCarthy, Claire Natasha.
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2004
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In this thesis I argue that science and common sense do not recognise the same kinds in nature, and hence the reference of kind terms in scientific and ordinary language differs. Therefore, a satisfactory philosophical account of natural kinds and their names should respect these differences. I begin by describing the account of natural kinds and their names offered by Putnam and Kripke, showing that their 'causal account' of reference predicts that kind terms in science and in ordinary language should agree in their extension. I then review cases from biology, chemistry, physics and the social sciences that suggest this is not the case - that the kind terms in these sciences differ from seemingly comparable terms in ordinary language. I go on to describe a notion of incommensurability devised by Thomas Kuhn, based on translatability and translation failure. I then show that the differences between science and common sense, employed to critique the causal view, show that science and common sense are incommensurable in Kuhn's sense. I take this to show that no satisfactory account of natural kinds can offer a single set of kinds and kind terms, and a single story of their nature, for both science and common sense. I then discuss accounts of kind concepts in developmental psychology, to see how these explanations of the nature and development of lay-concepts relates to the incommensurability thesis. I then deal with issues that may arise in light of the thesis; for example, explaining how the layman, steeped in common sense, can learn scientific theory. This leaves me in a position to clear the ground for a positive account of kinds and kind terms - surveying, in the light of the foregoing discussions, what must be included in, and excluded from, a satisfactory account,
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available