2015 - 18th Annual Steven Galovich Memorial Student Symposium

Presentation Title

Nominalism and Nature: Just How Real are Biological Kinds?

Student Presenter(s) and Advisor

Katie Bridget Wright '16, Lake Forest CollegeFollow

Location

Library 221

Abstract

Moments of “nominalist” euphoria in the philosophy of science--e.g., Quine's "Two Dogmas of Empiricism"--often give way to massive hangovers, as once-giddy “nominalists” realize that they may have abandoned, in their euphoria, the very idea of nature. No wonder, then, that, in Quine's wake, Kripke and Putnam reasserted that physical natural kinds--e.g., gold or chlorine--are, in some sense, necessary entities. But what of biological kinds like species? Doesn't Darwinism require “nominalism” about species? Following the example of Sober, in this presentation I will argue that, far from requiring “nominalism," Darwinism actually requires the rejection of full-fledged “nominalism” about biological kinds.

Presentation Type

Individual Presentation

Start Date

4-7-2015 10:30 AM

End Date

4-7-2015 11:45 AM

Panel

The Nature of Nature

Panel Moderator

Carol Gayle

Field of Study for Presentation

Biology, Philosophy

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Apr 7th, 10:30 AM Apr 7th, 11:45 AM

Nominalism and Nature: Just How Real are Biological Kinds?

Library 221

Moments of “nominalist” euphoria in the philosophy of science--e.g., Quine's "Two Dogmas of Empiricism"--often give way to massive hangovers, as once-giddy “nominalists” realize that they may have abandoned, in their euphoria, the very idea of nature. No wonder, then, that, in Quine's wake, Kripke and Putnam reasserted that physical natural kinds--e.g., gold or chlorine--are, in some sense, necessary entities. But what of biological kinds like species? Doesn't Darwinism require “nominalism” about species? Following the example of Sober, in this presentation I will argue that, far from requiring “nominalism," Darwinism actually requires the rejection of full-fledged “nominalism” about biological kinds.