Natural kinds and ceteris paratis generalizations: In praise of hunches Christopher Boyd (UC Irvine) and Dick Boyd (Lewis & Clark College, Cornell University)
Date: April 26 2013 3:30pm - 5:00pm Location: JRHH 202
Traditional philosophy of science focuses on ‘laws’ and generalizations that are true, or approximately true, or true ceteris paribus and on highly reliable patterns of scientific inference. Kinds or categories are said to be ‘natural kinds’ just in case they figure in such laws, generalizations or inference patterns. Examples from the inferential architecture of synthetic chemistry illustrate the need for a broader philosophical conception encompassing the roles of generalizations that are true ceteris paratis (true if you fiddle things right), of inferences that rely on informed hunches that are true saepe satis (true often enough), and of natural kinds appropriate for such generalizations and inferences.
NOTE: The speakers promise to make this talk accessible both to philosophers and to chemists.
This event is open to the public