what's on? calendar
- STS 20 Reunion
- STS Seminar: Collecting Minerals in the early Nineteenth Century: The Royal Institution and Humphry Davy
- STS Seminar: Framing problems of anatomical representations in 18thC Florence and 19thC Britain
- STS Seminar: Are Chemical Substances Natural Kinds?
- STS Seminar: Sketches of Another Future: Cybernetics in Britain, 1940-2000
- STS Seminar: Early Years of the Biological Weapons Convention
- STS Seminar: Sarah Edwards
- STS Seminar: Julie Anderson
- STS Seminar: Donald MacKenzie
- STS Seminar: Science and Diplomacy: Joseph Banks and the Macartney Embassy to China
- STS Seminar: Who studies mathematical practice and why
- PUS Seminar: Scidev.net and science journalism in South America
- PUS Seminar: 19thC public astronomy
- New book: Presocratics and the Supernatural
- Annual Grant Lecture
- Talk: Paul Robeson
- Life and Death Drawing: Expression
- Death by Hair: from Colonial South West Africa to Nazi Germany
- Film: When Worlds Collide (1951)
- Create a Wiser World
- Inaugural Lecture: Experimental State
- James Lovelock, Gaia, and science on a pagan planet
- TALK: Always looking at the stars...
- PUS Seminar: Toss Gascgoine
- Unsimple Truths: How Biological Complexity Changes Our View Of Nature And Science
- Life As We Know It
- Show 'n' Tell: Ancient DNA
- Approaches within Philosophy of Science
- Perspectives on Neglected Tropical Diseases
- STS Seminar - Prof Albert Weale
- STS Seminar - Dr James Sumner
- STS Seminar - Dr Ellen Clarke
- STS Haldane Lecture - Mutability, mobility and meteorites (Professor Simon Schaffer)
- Two Braggs and their influence on crystallography
- Film: One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing
- Public Lecture: ‘Can innovation ever be responsible? Is it ever irresponsible not to innovate?’
- Keep the Candle Burning
- Challenging Neglect: Perspectives on Neglected Tropical Diseases
- Talk: It's Food Not Waste
- STS research seminar
UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies is an interdisciplinary centre for the integrated study of science's history, philosophy, sociology, communication and policy, located in the heart of London. Founded in 1921. Award winning for teaching and research, plus for our public engagement programme. Rated as outstanding by students at every level.
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STS Seminar: Are Chemical Substances Natural Kinds?
Publication date: Oct 02, 2013 04:09 PM
Nov 13, 2013 04:00 PM
End: Nov 13, 2013 06:00 PM
Location: South Wing, Garwood LT
Speaker: Dr Robin Hendry, Durham University
Are chemical substances natural kinds? On the one hand, chemical kinds like water and gold have been so central to the philosophical literature on natural kinds that they should be regarded as paradigms by which to judge general criteria for the 'naturalness' of other classificatory terms. This suggests that chemical substances cannot fail to be natural kinds. On the other hand, these very examples violate general criteria for being natural kinds that are widely accepted in the metaphysical literature, including (i) discreteness and (ii) independence from classificatory interests. Perhaps chemical substances aren't natural kinds after all.
In response to these tensions I argue that it is the general criteria that should be rejected, because (i) the arguments for applying them are a priori (i.e. independent of information drawn from any particular empirical science), and (ii) there are core cases of natural kinds that fail to satisfy them. I also argue that neither non-discreteness nor interest-dependence undermine important realist theses about natural kinds.
Page last modified on 02 oct 13 16:08 by Jo E Pearson
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