Laura Franklin-Hall

Metaphysics through Science: The Case of Kinds

How might scientific practice be used to establish–or undermine metaphysical–conclusions? This paper characterizes one distinctive strategy–the genealogical critique–and contrasts it with other attempts to use present and past science in metaphysical arguments. In particular, I will argue that details of current and past classificatory practice give us reason to endorse natural kind anti-realism: the thesis that the universe does not have mind-independent joints at which our classifications should cut. In addition to laying out this argument, I compare it to more famous uses of science in the service of metaphysics offered by Kuhn, Laudan, and Dupre.