Are animal breeds social kinds?

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Submission Summary
Breeds are classifications of domestic animals that share a set of conventional phenotypic traits. We claim that, despite classifying biological entities, animal breeds are social kinds. Breeds originate in a social mechanism (artificial selection) by which humans dominate the agency of certain animals about their reproductive choices. The stability of breeds is typical of social, not biological kinds: they allow for scientific predictions but, like any other social kind, once the social forces sustaining the classification vanish, so does the kind. Breeds provide a simple scale model to discuss intervention on more complex social kinds like race or gender.
Submission ID :
PSA2022294
Submission Type

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