Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary
Millikan, R. G.: A common structure for concepts of individuals, stuffs, and real kinds: More Mama, more milk, and more mouse

Etiological classification and the acquisition and structure of knowledge

Michael T. Ghiselin a1
a1 Center for the History and Philosophy of Science, California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA 94118-4599


Millikan's account of how we acquire our most basic concepts might be clarified by a better ontological taxonomy, especially one that distinguishes between natural kinds on the one hand and wholes composed of parts on the other. The two have a different causal basis, which is important because once classification goes beyond the stage of naive induction, it becomes fundamentally etiological.