Journal Article

Interactive Kinds

Muhammad Ali Khalidi

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 61, issue 2, pages 335-360
Published in print June 2010 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online November 2009 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjps/axp042
Interactive Kinds

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This paper examines the phenomenon of ‘interactive kinds’ first identified by Ian Hacking. An interactive kind is one that is created or significantly modified once a concept of it has been formulated and acted upon in certain ways. Interactive kinds may also ‘loop back’ to influence our concepts and classifications. According to Hacking, interactive kinds are found exclusively in the human domain. After providing a general account of interactive kinds and outlining their philosophical significance, I argue that they are not confined to the human realm, but that they can also occur elsewhere. Hence, I conclude by arguing that interactive kinds pose a challenge to scientific realism about kinds by making it difficult to make a distinction between real and non-real kinds.

Introduction

The Looping Effect

A General Account of Interactive Kinds

Are All Interactive Kinds Human Kinds?

Awareness and Intentional Action

Ontology

Conclusion

Journal Article.  12355 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

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