Friday, December 16, 2011

Title bout, round two

My manuscript on natural kinds is in the hands of the publisher. It will, in due time, be one of the first books in Palgrave's series New Directions in Philosophy of Science.

It was to have been titled Carving up the world: Scientific enquiry and natural kinds, but yesterday I learned about a just-published collection of essays titled Carving nature at its joints: Natural kinds in metaphysics and science. The collection from MIT Press includes a wide range of essays from the 11th Inland Northwest Philosophy Conference, so it really isn't direct competition for a focused monograph on natural kinds. Yet the title, as my publisher says, is "a little close for comfort."

In short, I need a new title.

Brainstorming this morning led to the following list, plus others too terrible to record. Do any of these sound like books you would want to read?

1. Planets, mallards, and other natural kinds

2. Natural kinds and the structure of the world

3. Pragmatism, realism, and natural kinds

4. What about natural kinds?

5. Science, philosophy, and natural kinds

[Cross posted. Feel free to respond wherever.]


  1. Hi PD,
    How about the subtitle of the original as a stand-alone title, viz. "Scientific enquiry and natural kinds?"

  2. Kareem: The hope was for something catchier, with the dry but accurate bit as subtitle. The discussion has been more vigorous elsewhere, and the current contender is "From Planets to Mallards: Scientific enquiry and natural kinds".

  3. Sorry about the title competition, P.D. — my fault. ; ) Personally, I think you might insist on sticking with your original, pointing out that the MIT volume is quite different. But I do like "From Planets to Mallards". . . . Side note: I encountered a bit of this awkwardness too when I was asked to edit a *Monist* issue titled *Carving Nature at its Joints*. The metaphor is a big enough umbrella to cover multiple books, I think: but not by the same person! The let me go with *The Architecture of Reality*, fortunately.