Högre seminarum i vetenskapsfilosofi: Sören Häggqvist

Seminarium

Datum:

torsdag 30 september 2021

Tid:

13.15 – 15.00

Plats:

F3154

Intrinsic Biological Essentialism: Devitt’s New Argument

Title

Intrinsic Biological Essentialism: Devitt’s New Argument

Abstract

Michael Devitt has recently responded to criticism of his doctrine of intrinsic biological essentialism (IBE). I argue that parts of his response expose IBE to a dilemma: putative intrinsic essences may be saved from triviality at the expense of explantoriness; or they may be explanatory but likely trivial. I also argue that his argument for IBE sanctions postulation of intrinsic essences for non-taxonomic categories like “predator”. This threatens an unwanted proliferation of essences which cannot – unlike those of hierarchical taxa – be neatly related.