Monism on the One Hand, Pluralism on the Other
Slater (Matthew H.)
Source: Philosophy of Science 72 Jan2005, Issue 1, p22-42, 21p
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    In this paper, I consider ways of responding to critiques of natural kinds1 monism recently suggested from the pluralist camp. Even if monism is determined to be untenable in certain domains (say, about species), it might well be tenable in others. Chemistry is suggested to be such a monist-friendly domain. Suggestions of trouble for chemical kinds can be defused by attending to the difference between monism as a metaphysical thesis and as a claim about classification systems. Finally, I consider enantiomers as a test case for the monism/pluralism debate. The question of whether enantiomers differ in kind does not appear easily answerable. I suggest that this legislates for pluralism in chemistry. (PI / EBSCOHost): In this paper, I consider ways of responding to critiques of natural kinds2 monism recently suggested from the pluralist camp. Even if monism is determined to be untenable in certain domains (say, about species), it might well be tenable in others. Chemistry is suggested to be such a monist-friendly domain. Suggestions of trouble for chemical kinds can be defused by attending to the difference between monism as a metaphysical thesis and as a claim about classification systems. Finally, I consider enantiomers as a test case for the monism/pluralism debate. The question of whether enantiomers differ in kind does not appear easily answerable. I suggest that this legislates for pluralism in chemistry.

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