Single Idea 6799

[catalogued under 14. Science / C. Induction / 5. Paradoxes of Induction / a. Grue problem]

Full Idea

We know what natural kinds there are by seeing which properties appear in the laws of nature. But one lesson of Goodman's problem is that we cannot identify the laws of nature without some prior identification of natural kinds.

Gist of Idea

We normally learn natural kinds from laws, but Goodman shows laws require prior natural kinds


Alexander Bird (Philosophy of Science [1998], Ch.7)

Book Reference

Bird,Alexander: 'Philosophy of Science' [UCL Press 2000], p.224

A Reaction

For Goodman's problem, see Idea 4783. The essentialist view is that the natural kinds come first, and the so-called 'laws' are just regularities in events that arise from the interaction of stable natural kinds. (Keep predicates and properties separate).

Related Idea

Idea 4783 Observing lots of green x can confirm 'all x are green' or 'all x are grue', where 'grue' is arbitrary [Mautner, by PG]