more from Stephen Mumford

Single Idea 14344

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / B. Natural Kinds / 4. Source of Kinds]

Full Idea

Regularities exist because we classify kinds on the basis of their dispositions, not on pre-established divisions of kinds. The dispositions are the basis for the division into kinds, which is why all electrons behave in the same way.

Gist of Idea

Natural kinds, such as electrons, all behave the same way because we divide them by dispositions


Stephen Mumford (Dispositions [1998], 10.7)

Book Reference

Mumford,Stephen: 'Dispositions' [OUP 1998], p.235

A Reaction

This strikes me as being so obvious that it is hardly worth saying, and yet an enormous number of philosophers seem to have been led up the garden path by the notion of a 'kind', probably under the influence of Kripke, Putnam and Wiggins.