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Then ‘owamosk’ could be said to pick out the same kind of thing in every possible world. What kind of thing is that? The kind associated with the property of having a mass of 67 kg. ” But he maintains that some general terms are not rigid – for example, ‘the insect species that is typically farmed for honey’. I think this point is debatable but it is 30 Metaphysical Realism and essentialism about kinds Although this fact about natural kind terms has now been noted by a number of philosophers and has gained wide acceptance, there is a corresponding fact about natural kinds themselves that has not been appreciated.
P7, while i2 necessarily belongs to K4 on the basis of possessing P2, P3, . , P8. Thus, the absence of a necessary condition on an individual’s belonging to a kind is no obstacle to an individual necessarily being a member of that kind. Conversely, there might be a set of necessary and suﬃcient properties associated with membership in a kind, yet individual members of that kind might not belong to it necessarily – that is, in every possible world in which those individuals exist. A stock philosophical example may help to illustrate the point.
22 Metaphysical Realism and essentialism about kinds possible world, and if all natural kinds are essential kinds, then this applies to them too. This is the ﬁrst way of extending the necessity thesis to natural kinds: Natural kinds are such that their members belong to them in every world in which those members exist. 3). To avoid any misunderstanding, it is worth mentioning that necessary membership in a kind is compatible with there being no set of necessary and suﬃcient properties associated with that kind, in the sense of the previous section.