Identity and Natural Kinds
Doepke (Frederick)
Source: Philosophical Quarterly, 1992, Vol. 42 Issue 166, p89, 6p
Paper - Abstract

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Philosophers Index Abstract

    David Wiggins held that members of natural kinds1 cannot persist through changes in kind (e.g., no human could become non-human). James Baillie finds this counterintuitive; to avoid it he holds that the identity of these things is governed by Andrew Brennan's survival relation (a generalization of Derek Parfit2's relation R). Wiggins' theory is defended here by appealing to his conceptualism, which correlates criteria of identification with conditions of identity, and by arguing that since the survival relation is one-to-many it cannot supply criteria of identification for epistemically primary things, which natural things are presumed to be.
Second Abstract
    Discusses two different philosophers' points of view regarding their theories of identity and natural kinds3. David Wiggins' 'Sameness and Substance' argues that members of a natural kind4 are determined by 'lawlike principles' that govern their 'characteristic development and typical history'; James Baillie challenges Wiggins in 'Identity, Survival, and Sortal5 Concepts'; Baillie believes identity should be dropped in favor of the S-relation; S-relation's use; Intuition; More.

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