more from Peter Abelard

Single Idea 10398

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / B. Natural Kinds / 7. Critique of Kinds]

Full Idea

In Abelard's view a natural kind is a well-defined collection of things that have the same features, so that natural kinds have no special status, being no more than discrete integral wholes whose principle of membership is similarity.

Gist of Idea

Natural kinds are not special; they are just well-defined resemblance collections


report of Peter Abelard (works [1135]) by Peter King - Peter Abelard 2

Book Reference

'Stanford Online Encyclopaedia of Philosophy', ed/tr. Stanford University [], p.8

A Reaction

I take a natural kind to be a completely stable and invariant class of things. Presumably this invariance has an underlying explanation, but Abelard seems to take the Humean line that we cannot penetrate beyond the experienced surface.