more from Michael Devitt

Single Idea 17372

[catalogued under 27. Natural Reality / F. Biology / 5. Species]

Full Idea

The signs are that the higher categories are not natural kinds and so the Linnaean hierarchy must be abandoned. ...This is not abandoning a hierarchy altogether, it is not abandoning a tree of life.

Gist of Idea

The higher categories are not natural kinds, so the Linnaean hierarchy should be given up


Michael Devitt (Natural Kinds and Biological Realism [2009], 6)

Book Reference

Devitt,Michael: 'Putting Metaphysics First' [OUP 2010], p.211

A Reaction

Devitt's underlying point is that the higher and more general kinds do not have an essence (a specific nature), which is the qualification to be a natural kind. They explain nothing. Essence is the hallmark of natural kinds. Hmmm.