Philosophy Program Presents
Monday, October 28, 2019
Why are some kinds historical and others not?
Olin, Room 102
4:45 pm – 6:30 pm
This lecture explores why scientists sometimes classify entities in terms of their histories, and other times based exclusively on their non-historical or ‘synchronic’ properties. After reviewing examples of these two approaches, I formulate a principle designed to both describe and explain this aspect of our scientific classificatory practice. According to this proposal, a domain is apt for historical classifications just when the probability of the independent emergence of similar entities (PIES) in that domain is very low. In addition to rationalizing this principle and showing its ability to correctly account for classification practices across the natural and social sciences, I consider whether the kinds so circumscribed will be objective or real.
Associate Professor of Philosophy, NYU
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Time: 4:45 pm – 6:30 pm
Location: Olin, Room 102