Generally speaking, there are five types of nature. These include water, air, land, plants, and animals. Each type of nature has unique features and characteristics. In this article we explore each of these.
The debate over natural kinds is an area of metaphysics that has a number of competing claims. These claims can be grouped into three categories: essentialism, cluster kind, and promiscuous realism.
Essentialists claim that there is a single correct way to divide the world into natural kinds. Typically, essentialists are monists, who are committed to the proposition that there is no such thing as a non-essential or non-objective kind. Some essentialists also reject the idea of quadrupeds and crosscutting categories.
The most famous example of an essentialist natural kind is the chemical element. A chemical element is an entity that possesses a particular property such as electric charge. These properties can be used to make inductive inferences about the properties of other entities.
The Homeostatic Property Cluster theory describes natural kinds as clusters of co-occurring properties. This idea is particularly useful in explaining why some species are more similar than others.
The zooming-in model is another approach to understanding natural kinds. It posits that by looking closely at nature we will find mind-independent groupings.
The Homeostatic Property Cluster theory was introduced by Richard Boyd and he believes that biological species are good candidates for natural kind clusters.
The next section discusses the differences between scientific realism and natural kinds realism. Specifically, we will look at the three most prominent accounts of natural kinds.