An ideal solution to disputes about multiply realized kinds

Colin Klein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


Multiply realizable kinds are scientifically problematic, for it appears that we should not expect discoveries about them to hold of other members of that kind. As such, it looks like MR kinds should have no place in the ontology of the special sciences. Many resist this conclusion, however, because we lack a positive account of the role that certain realization-unrestricted terms play in special science explanations. I argue that many such terms actually pick out idealizing models. Idealizing explanation has many of the features normally associated with explanation by MR kinds. As idealized models are usually mere possibilia, such explanations do not run afoul of the metaphysical problems that plague MR kinds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-177
Number of pages17
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes

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