Abstract

What are natural kinds good for? In this paper I attend to two tasks. First, I identify four main criteria typically associated with natural kinds in the literature and review some of the problems associated with them (and related views of natural kinds). Second, I put forward a view of natural kinds that is meant to be anti-foundationalist and anti-essentialist and yet capable of delivering on the four main criteria. I illustrate it with examples from the physical and life sciences.