Author: Brüning, B.
Source: Erkenntnis, Volume 54, Number 1, January 2001 , pp. 17-29(13)
Abstract:Today it is widely accepted among philosophers of analytical inclination that there are two theories about what endows words with their extensions: the theory of natural kinds and the so-called Californian semantics. It is widely agreed that the first is superior to the second because it can not only explain the indexicality of the extension of natural kind terms as well as their social character but also avoid Goodman's paradox of projectibility. Natural kind terms can not be corrupted concepts since their members are grouped by objective similarity. It will be shown that there is a third way besides the two above-mentioned theories. It shares the advantages of Natural Kind theory without making use of the problematic concept of objective similarity. Its main feature is not to claim that extensions are there once and forever but that concepts evolve by using concepts.
Document Type: Regular Paper
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Publication date: 2001-01-01