The metaphysics of natural kinds

Alexander Bird*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This paper maps the landscape for a range of views concerning the metaphysics of natural kinds. I consider a range of increasingly ontologically committed views concerning natural kinds and the possible arguments for them. I then ask how these relate to natural kind essentialism, arguing that essentialism requires commitment to kinds as entities. I conclude by examining the homeostatic property cluster view of kinds in the light of the general understanding of kinds developed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1397-1426
Number of pages30
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2015


  • Essentialism
  • Metaphysics
  • Natural kinds
  • Ontology
  • Realism
  • Universals

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