Since Saul Kripke’s and Hilary Putnam’s groundbreaking work in the Seventies, the idea has emerged that natural kind terms are semantically special among common nouns. Stephen Schwartz, for example, has argued that an artifactual term like “pencil” functions very differently from a natural kind term like “tiger”. This, however, blatantly violates what I call the Principle of Semantic Uniformity. In this paper, I defend the principle. In particular, I sketch a picture of how natural kind terms function based on Kripke’s and Putnam’s considerations, and I use it to rebut Schwartz’s arguments, showing that if it works for natural kind terms, it works for artifactual terms too (and, arguably, for common nouns in general), or at least that Schwartz did not provide good enough reasons to the contrary.
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