more from George Molnar

Single Idea 11959

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / a. Scientific essentialism]

Full Idea

Investigations premissed on the assumption that natural kinds have essences, that in particular the fundamental natural kinds have only essential intrinsic properties, tend to be practically successful because the assumption is true.

Gist of Idea

Science works when we assume natural kinds have essences - because it is true


George Molnar (Powers [1998], 11.3)

Book Reference

Molnar,George: 'Powers: a study in metaphysics', ed/tr. Mumford,Stephen [OUP 2003], p.184

A Reaction

The point is made against a pragmatist approach to the problem by Nancy Cartwright. I take the starting point for scientific essentialism to be an empirical observation, that natural kinds seem to be very very stable. See Idea 8153.

Related Idea

Idea 8153 By knowing one piece of clay or gold, you know all of clay or gold [Anon (Upan)]