Indigenous and Scientific Kinds

David Ludwig*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this article is to discuss the relation between indigenous and scientific kinds on the basis of contemporary ethnobiological research. I argue that ethnobiological accounts of taxonomic convergence–divergence patters challenge common philosophical models of the relation between folk concepts and natural kinds. Furthermore, I outline a positive model of taxonomic convergence–divergence patterns that is based on Slater's ([2015]) notion of ‘stable property clusters’ and Franklin-Hall's ([2015]) discussion of natural kinds as ‘categorical bottlenecks’. Finally, I argue that this model is not only helpful for understanding the relation between indigenous and scientific kinds, but also makes substantial contributions to contemporary debates about natural kinds.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-212
JournalThe British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


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