“What’s A Definition in Biology?” Richard Boyd, Cornell University
Date: 3:30pm PDT April 17 Location: JRHH 302
According to the ‘homeostatic property cluster’ conception many categories in biology and other sciences are defined by naturally occurring property clusters and their underlying clustering mechanisms. The HPC conception has been challenged on the grounds that it doesn’t accord with actual definitional practices in biology and that it fails to account for the role of phylogeny in defining biological taxa. A response is developed that focuses on (1) the role of published ‘definitions’ in the sciences and (2) the relationship between philosophy of science and the (other) sciences.