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Kind Historicism & Biological Ontology

Bartol, Jordan Nelson (2015) Kind Historicism & Biological Ontology. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This thesis develops a new theory of natural kinds for the biological world, called ‘Kind Historicism’, and addresses the relationship between natural kind theorizing and scientific reasoning. Applied to natural kinds and individuals in biology, Kind Historicism provides an ontology of the biological world. Discussions of biological ontology have struggled to balance insights from scientific practice with tools from analytic philosophy, metaphysics, and ontology. Ontological questions and practical/epistemic questions are often entangled. This thesis separates the two enquires, explaining why an ontological account of ‘what-there-is’ in biology should not straightforwardly dictate scientific categories, objects, or concepts. More precisely this thesis provides, in two parts, the development of Kind Historicism in light of discussions of natural kinds, essentialism, and monism, followed by the application of Kind Historicism to the natural kind status of biochemicals and to the problem of biological individuality. Finally, the success of Kind Historicism is measured against its ability to account for ‘intrinsic heterogeneity’ and ‘theoretical pluralism’, features of the biological world and science, respectively, believed to preclude biological natural kinds.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Natural Kinds, Philosophy of Biology, Biological Exceptionalism, Species Problem, Individuality, Metaphysics, Ontology, Scientific Metaphysics
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Philosophy, Religion and the History of Science
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.658749
Depositing User: Mr Jordan Bartol
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2015 08:31
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2015 13:48
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/9473

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