[SydPhil] University of Sydney Philosophy Seminar Series: Matthew Slater

Ryan Cox ryan.cox at sydney.edu.au
Mon Nov 27 09:00:00 AEDT 2023

Hi everyone,

This week’s speaker in the University of Sydney Philosophy Seminar Series is Matthew Slater (Bucknell University).

The title of Matthew’s talk is “A Four Day Work Week for Natural Kinds”. Here’s the abstract for the talk:

What sort of philosophical work are natural kinds suited for? Scientific realists often contend that they provide the “aboutness” of successful of scientific classification and explain their epistemic utility. Various other side hustles have been suggested, but I will focus on this. Recent history has revealed it to be a tricky job — particularly in the present naturalistic climate of philosophy of science. As a result, we’ve seen an explosion of different sorts of theories. This phenomenon that has suggested to some that philosophical theorizing about natural kinds has reached a sort of “scholastic twilight” and that the concept (or family of concepts) has outlived its utility: perhaps there’s no work natural kinds are suited for. While I think this pessimistic take is unwarranted, I will argue that it is worth rethinking the roles to which a reasonably naturalistic account of natural kinds can be fruitfully put. Natural kinds just need a shorter work week.

The talk will take place on Wednesday the 29th of November at 3:30 p.m. in the Philosophy Seminar Room (N494) in the Quadrangle.

This will be the last seminar for 2023.

Enquiries about the seminar series can be directed to ryan.cox at sydney.edu.au<mailto:ryan.cox at sydney.edu.au>

Ryan Cox
Associate Lecturer in Philosophy
Discipline of Philosophy
School of Humanities
University of Sydney
ryan.cox at sydney.edu.au<mailto:ryan.cox at sydney.edu.au>
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