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Jan 23, 2018

Our Next Visiting Speaker January 26 - Daniel Weiskopf

Dr. Daniel Weiskopf, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Georgia State University, will be giving a talk in our department on Friday, January 26. His talk, titled “Science Without Kinds,” will be given from 3-5pm in 175 McCain Hall. (Note the change from our typical 2-4pm talks.) His abstract is as follows:

The claim that science discovers kinds is often treated as definitive of both the notion of a kind and of the scientific enterprise itself. This presumes, however, that kindhood is a theoretically cogent property. Here I argue that there is probably no sufficiently rich, unified, and non-trivial notion of kindhood to be found. Using case studies drawn from psychology and neuroscience, I first consider several leading accounts of kindhood and show that they are subject to robust counterexamples. I generalize this critique by arguing that the notion of a kind leans on the defective assumption of an artificially high degree of convergence among the epistemic goals, purposes, and practices of science. But these activities are multifaceted, and the explanations for their successes will be correspondingly various. The epistemic domain is inherently disunified. If kinds are invoked to explain the epistemic successes of science, kinds themselves will be equally disunified. Metascience can proceed without yoking itself to the philosophy of kinds.

We hope to see you there!

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