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This paper examines the ways in which social scientific discourse and classification interact with the objects of social scientific investigation. I examine this interaction in the context of the traditional philosophical project of demarcating the social sciences from the natural sciences. I begin by reviewing Ian Hacking’s work on interactive classification and argue that there are additional forms of interaction that must be treated.


philosophy of social science, rhetoric of science, science studies, interactive kind, practice theory, human kind, scientific classification, taxonomy, social practices, scientific concepts


Copyright © 2010 Matt L. Drabek


The idea of incorporating work from the rhetoric of science and science studies into a traditional issue in the philosophy of science was stimulated by a Rhetoric of Science course at the University of Iowa in 2008. I would like to thank David Depew and David G. Stern for discussions on some of the major issues in this paper.

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