Volume 5, Issue 1, 2005
Kinds, Projectibility and Explanation
Two ways of characterizing natural kinds are currently popular: the Kripke-Putnam appeal to microstructure and Boyd’s appeal to causal homeostasis. I argue that these conceptions are more divergent than is often acknowledged, that they give no credence to essentialism, and that they are both faulty. In their place, I sketch an alternative view of natural kinds, which I call “bare projectibilism”. This conception avoids the appeal to explanation common to microstructuralism and the causal homeostasis view, but is still compatible with scientific realism.