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Monism on the One Hand, Pluralism on the Other*

Matthew H. Slater
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 72, No. 1 (January 2005), pp. 22-42
DOI: 10.1086/426847
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/426847
Page Count: 21
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Monism on the One Hand, Pluralism on the Other*
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Abstract

In this paper, I consider ways of responding to critiques of natural kinds monism recently suggested from the pluralist camp. Even if monism is determined to be untenable in certain domains (say, about species), it might well be tenable in others. Chemistry is suggested to be such a monist‐friendly domain. Suggestions of trouble for chemical kinds can be defused by attending to the difference between monism as a metaphysical thesis and as a claim about classification systems. Finally, I consider enantiomers as a test case for the monism/pluralism debate. The question of whether enantiomers differ in kind does not appear easily answerable. I suggest that this legislates for pluralism in chemistry.

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