Ideas from 'Natural Kinds' by Willard Quine [1969], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Ontological Relativity and Other Essays' by Quine,Willard [Columbia 1969,0-231-08357-2]].

Click on the Idea Number for the full details    |     back to texts     |     expand these ideas

1. Philosophy / G. Scientific Philosophy / 3. Scientism
Philosophy is continuous with science, and has no external vantage point
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 5. Geometry
Klein summarised geometry as grouped together by transformations
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 8. Stuff / a. Pure stuff
Mass terms just concern spread, but other terms involve both spread and individuation
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 6. Dispositions / a. Dispositions
Once we know the mechanism of a disposition, we can eliminate 'similarity'
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 6. Dispositions / d. Dispositions as occurrent
We judge things to be soluble if they are the same kind as, or similar to, things that do dissolve
14. Science / A. Basis of Science / 3. Experiment
Science is common sense, with a sophisticated method
14. Science / C. Induction / 1. Induction
Induction is just more of the same: animal expectations
Induction relies on similar effects following from each cause
14. Science / C. Induction / 5. Paradoxes of Induction / a. Grue problem
Grue is a puzzle because the notions of similarity and kind are dubious in science
15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 7. Seeing Resemblance
General terms depend on similarities among things
To learn yellow by observation, must we be told to look at the colour?
Similarity is just interchangeability in the cosmic machine
Standards of similarity are innate, and the spacing of qualities such as colours can be mapped
19. Language / A. Language / 6. Predicates
Projectible predicates can be universalised about the kind to which they refer
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 6. Natural Kinds / a. Natural kinds
Quine probably regrets natural kinds now being treated as essences
If similarity has no degrees, kinds cannot be contained within one another
Comparative similarity allows the kind 'colored' to contain the kind 'red'
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 6. Natural Kinds / c. Knowing kinds
You can't base kinds just on resemblance, because chains of resemblance are a muddle
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 3. General Causation / a. Constant conjunction
Causation is just invariance, as long as it is described in general terms
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 4. Regularities / a. Regularity theory
It is hard to see how regularities could be explained