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Why Hacking is wrong about human kinds.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>03/2004
<mark>Journal</mark>British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Issue number1
Volume55
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)73-85
<mark>State</mark>Published
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

�Human kind� is a term introduced by Ian Hacking to refer to the kinds of people�child abusers, pregnant teenagers, the unemployed�studied by the human sciences. Hacking argues that classifying and describing human kinds results in feedback, which alters the very kinds under study. This feedback results in human kinds having histories totally unlike those of natural kinds (such as copper, tigers and dandelions) leading Hacking to conclude that human kinds are radically unlike natural kinds. Here I argue that Hacking�s argument fails and that he has not demonstrated that human kinds cannot be natural kinds.

Bibliographic note

This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in British Journal for the Philosophy of Science following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Cooper, Rachel Why Hacking is Wrong about Human Kinds British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 2004 55: 73-85 is available online at: http://bjps.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/55/1/73