Objective Kinds and Causes

The first major theme of my research is on objectivity in the sciences and in our everyday understanding of the world. In particular, I am working on a defence of the deflationist view of natural kinds: a kind is a natural kind if and only if it serves our epistemic or practical aims.

I argue that inflationist accounts of natural kinds do not offer anything approaching a satisfactory epistemology of natural kinds. And I raise objections to the idea that some biological and social kinds that are objectively privileged because they play an indispensible role in explanation or are distinct from physical kinds.

I am also working on the implications of the deflationist view of natural kinds for our understanding of causation and causal inference, including the group selection debate in evolutionary biology and the controversy over rational expectations models in econometrics.

 

Published work on this theme: