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  1. Leandro Assis & Ingo Brigandt (2009). Homology: Homeostatic Property Cluster Kinds in Systematics and Evolution. Evolutionary Biology 36:248-255.
    Taxa and homologues can in our view be construed both as kinds and as individuals. However, the conceptualization of taxa as natural kinds in the sense of homeostatic property cluster kinds has been criticized by some systematists, as it seems that even such kinds cannot evolve due to their being homeostatic. We reply by arguing that the treatment of transformational and taxic homologies, respectively, as dynamic and static aspects of the same homeostatic property cluster kind represents a good perspective for (...)
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  2. Scott Atran, Douglas I. Medin & Norbert Ross (2002). Thinking About Biology. Modular Constraints on Categorization and Reasoning in the Everyday Life of Americans, Maya, and Scientists. Mind and Society 3 (2):31-63.
    This essay explores the universal cognitive bases of biological taxonomy and taxonomic inference using cross-cultural experimental work with urbanized Americans and forest-dwelling Maya Indians. A universal, essentialist appreciation of generic species appears as the causal foundation for the taxonomic arrangement of biodiversity, and for inference about the distribution of causally-related properties that underlie biodiversity. Universal folkbiological taxonomy is domain-specific: its structure does not spontaneously or invariably arise in other cognitive domains, like substances, artifacts or persons. It is plausibly an innately-determined (...)
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  3. Bryan Benham & Matt Haber (2008). Moral Confusion and Developmental Essentialism in Part-Human Hybrid Research. American Journal of Bioethics 8 (12):42 – 44.
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  4. Peter Beurton (2002). Ernst Mayr Through Time on the Biological Species Concept - a Conceptual Analysis. Theory in Biosciences 121:81-98.
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  5. Ingo Brigandt (2009). Natural Kinds in Evolution and Systematics: Metaphysical and Epistemological Considerations. Acta Biotheoretica 57:77-97.
    Despite the traditional focus on metaphysical issues in discussions of natural kinds in biology, epistemological considerations are at least as important. By revisiting the debate as to whether taxa are kinds or individuals, I argue that both accounts are metaphysically compatible, but that one or the other approach can be pragmatically preferable depending on the epistemic context. Recent objections against construing species as homeostatic property cluster kinds are also addressed. The second part of the paper broadens the perspective by considering (...)
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  6. C. Chung (2003). On the Origin of the Typological/Population Distinction in Ernst Mayr's Changing Views of Species, 1942-1959. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 34 (2):277-296.
    Ernst Mayr's typological/population distinction is a conceptual thread that runs throughout much of his work in systematics, evolutionary biology, and the history and philosophy of biology. Mayr himself claims that typological thinking originated in the philosophy of Plato and that population thinking was first introduced by Charles Darwin and field naturalists. A more proximate origin of the typological/population thinking, however, is found in Mayr's own work on species. This paper traces the antecedents of the typological/population distinction by detailing Mayr's changing (...)
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  7. Nic Damnjanovic (2009). Sperm, Eggs and Hunks: Biological Origins and Identity. [REVIEW] Acta Analytica 24 (2):113-126.
    In several publications Graeme Forbes has developed and defended one of the strongest arguments for essentialism about biological origins. I attempt to show that there are deep, as yet unrecognized, problems with this argument. The problems with Forbes’s argument suggest that a range of other arguments for various forms of origin essentialism are also likely to be flawed, and that we should abandon the seemingly plausible general metaphysical thesis that concrete entities that share all intrinsic properties are identical.
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  8. Kevin De Queiroz & Michael J. Donoghue (1988). Phylogenetic Systematics and the Species Problem. Cladistics 4:317-38.
  9. Michael Devitt (2008). Resurrecting Biological Essentialism. Philosophy of Science 75 (3):344-382.
    The article defends the doctrine that Linnaean taxa, including species, have essences that are, at least partly, underlying intrinsic, mostly genetic, properties. The consensus among philosophers of biology is that such essentialism is deeply wrong, indeed incompatible with Darwinism. I argue that biological generalizations about the morphology, physiology, and behavior of species require structural explanations that must advert to these essential properties. The objection that, according to current “species concepts,” species are relational is rejected. These concepts are primarily concerned with (...)
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  10. Travis Dumsday (2012). A New Argument For Intrinsic Biological Essentialism. Philosophical Quarterly 62 (248):486-504.
    Intrinsic biological essentialism (INBE) is the view that biological taxa have fixed identity conditions, conditions which consist at least in part of intrinsic properties. After a long period of near universal rejection within both philosophy of biology and theoretical biology, INBE is making a comeback. Here I attempt to support this revival by clarifying the nature of INBE, developing a new argument on its behalf, and addressing an important anti-essentialist critique.
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  11. John Dupré (1999). On the Impossibility of a Monistic Account of Species. In Robert A. Wilson (ed.), Species: New Interdisciplinary Essays. Bradford Books. 3-22.
  12. John Dupré (1993). The Disorder of Things: Metaphysical Foundations of the Disunity of Science. Harvard University Press.
  13. Marc Ereshefsky, Systematic Biology.
    To cite this Article: Ereshefsky, Marc , 'Foundational Issues Concerning Taxa and Taxon Names', Systematic Biology, 56:2, 295 - 301 To link to this article: DOI: 10.1080/10635150701317401 URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10635150701317401..
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  14. Marc Ereshefsky, Species. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  15. Marc Ereshefsky (2002). Linnaean Ranks: Vestiges of a Bygone Era. Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S305-S315.
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  16. Marc Ereshefsky (1994). Some Problems with the Linnaean Hierarchy. Philosophy of Science 61 (2):186-205.
    Most biologists use the Linnaean system for constructing classifications of the organic world. The Linnaean system, however, has lost its theoretical basis due to the shift in biology from creationist and essentialist tenets to evolutionary theory. As a result, the Linnaean system is both cumbersome and ontologically vacuous. This paper illustrates the problems facing the Linnaean system, and ends with a brief introduction to an alternative approach to biological classification.
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  17. Marc Ereshefsky & Mohan Matthen (2005). Taxonomy, Polymorphism, and History: An Introduction to Population Structure Theory. Philosophy of Science 72 (1):1-21.
    Homeostatic Property Cluster (HPC) theory suggests that species and other biological taxa consist of organisms that share certain similarities. HPC theory acknowledges the existence of Darwinian variation within biological taxa. The claim is that “homeostatic mechanisms” acting on the members of such taxa nonetheless ensure a significant cluster of similarities. The HPC theorist’s focus on individual similarities is inadequate to account for stable polymorphism within taxa, and fails properly to capture their historical nature. A better approach is to treat distributions (...)
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  18. Mark Ereshefsky (2007). Foundational Issues Concerning Taxa and Taxon Names. Systematic Biology 56 (2):295-301.
    In a series of articles, Rieppel (2005, Biol. Philos. 20:465–487; 2006a, Cladistics 22:186–197; 2006b, Systematist 26:5–9), Keller et al. (2003, Bot. Rev. 69:93–110), and Nixon and Carpenter (2000, Cladistics 16:298–318) criticize the philosophical foundations of the PhyloCode. They argue that species and higher taxa are not individuals, and they reject the view that taxon names are rigid designators. Furthermore, they charge supporters of the individuality thesis and rigid designator theory with assuming essentialism, committing logical inconsistencies, and offering proposals that render (...)
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  19. Devin Henry (2011). Aristotle's Pluralistic Realism. The Monist 94 (2):197-220.
    In this paper I explore Aristotle’s views on natural kinds and the compatibility of pluralism and realism, a topic that has generated considerable interest among contemporary philosophers. I argue that, when it came to zoology, Aristotle denied that there is only one way of organizing the diversity of the living world into natural kinds that will yield a single, unified system of classification. Instead, living things can be grouped and regrouped into various cross-cutting kinds on the basis of objective similarities (...)
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  20. Ross Inman (2014). De Re Essentialism, Species, and Modal Ambiguity. Metaphysica 15 (1).
    I offer a concise critique of a recurring line of reasoning advanced by Joseph LaPorte and Samir Okasha that all modern species concepts render the view that biological organisms essentially belong to their species empirically untenable. The argument, I claim, trades on a crucial modal ambiguity that collapses the de re/de dicto distinction. Contra their claim that the continued adherence of such a view on behalf of contemporary metaphysicians stems from the latter’s ignorance of developments in modern biology, the modal (...)
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  21. Jan-Erik Jones (2010). Locke on Real Essences, Intelligibility and Natural Kinds. Journal of Philosophical Research 35:147-172.
    In this paper I criticize arguments by Pauline Phemister and Matthew Stuart that John Locke's position in his An Essay Concerning Human Understanding allows for natural kinds based on similarities among real essences. On my reading of Locke, not only are similarities among real essences irrelevant to species, but natural kind theories based on them are unintelligible.
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  22. Werner Kunz & Markus Werning, The Biological Species as a Gene-Flow Community. Species Essentialism Does Not Imply Species Universalism.
    We defend a realistic attitude towards biological species. We argue that two species are not different species because they differ in intrinsic features, be they phenotypic or genomic, but because they are separated with regard to gene flow. There are no intrinsic species essences. However, there are relational ones. We argue that bearing a gene flow relation to conspecifics may serve as the essence of a species. Our view of the species as a Gene-Flow Community differs from Mayr’s definition of (...)
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  23. Mohan Matthen (1998). Biological Universals and the Nature of Fear. Journal of Philosophy 95 (3):105-132.
    Cognitive definitions cannot accommodate fear as it occurs in species incapable of sophisticated cognition. Some think that fear must, therefore, be noncognitive. This paper explores another option, arguably more in line with evolutionary theory: that like other "biological universals" fear admits of variation across and within species. A paradigm case of such universals is species: it is argued that they can be defined by ostension in the manner of Putnam and Kripke without implying that they must have an invariable essence. (...)
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  24. Bence Nanay (2011). Three Ways of Resisting Essentialism About Natural Kinds. In J. K. Campbell & M. H. Slater (eds.), Carving Nature at its Joints. Topics in Contemporary Philosophy, Vol. 8. MIT Press. 175--97.
    Essentialism about natural kinds has three tenets. The first tenet is that all and only members of a natural kind has some essential properties. The second tenet is that these essential properties play a causal role. The third tenet is that they are explanatorily relevant. I examine the prospects of questioning these tenets and point out that arguing against the first and the second tenets of kind-essentialism would involve taking parts in some of the grand debates of philosophy. But, at (...)
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  25. Samir Okasha (2002). Darwinian Metaphysics: Species and the Question of Essentialism. Synthese 131 (2):191-213.
    Biologists and philosophers of biology typically regard essentialism about speciesas incompatible with modern Darwinian theory. Analytic metaphysicians such asKripke, Putnam and Wiggins, on the other hand, believe that their essentialist thesesare applicable to biological kinds. I explore this tension. I show that standard anti-essentialist considerations only show that species do not have intrinsic essential properties. I argue that while Putnam and Kripke do make assumptions that contradict received biological opinion, their model of natural kinds, suitably modified, is partially applicable to (...)
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  26. Makmiller Pedroso (2014). Origin Essentialism in Biology. Philosophical Quarterly 64 (254):60-81.
    Kripke argues for origin essentialism, the view that the same individual cannot have multiple origins. Sober hypothesises that Kripke's origin essentialism applies to biological species. This paper shows that Sober's hypothesis fails. Because Kripke's original argument is invalid, it cannot vindicate Sober's proposal. Salmon offers an influential reformulation of Kripke's argument but his argument fails to extend to species: the notion of an individual's origin is too narrow to apply to species, and Salmon's argument rests on a thought experiment that (...)
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  27. Makmiller Pedroso (2013). The Species Problem: A Philosophical Analysis, by Richard Richards. [REVIEW] Mind 122 (488):1180-1182.
  28. Makmiller Pedroso (2012). Essentialism, History, and Biological Taxa. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (1):182-190.
    de Queiroz (1995), Griffiths (1999) and LaPorte (2004) offer a new version of essentialism called "historical essentialism". According to this version of essentialism, relations of common ancestry are essential features of biological taxa. The main type of argument for this essentialism proposed by Griffiths (1999) and LaPorte (2004) is that the dominant school of classification, cladism, defines biological taxa in terms of common ancestry. The goal of this paper is to show that this argument for historical essentialism is unsatisfactory: cladism (...)
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  29. Olivier Rieppel (2011). Against Species Essentialism. Metascience 20 (2):339-341.
    Against species essentialism Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9448-6 Authors Olivier Rieppel, Department of Geology, The Field Museum, 1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605-2496, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
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  30. Olivier Rieppel (2010). New Essentialism in Biology. Philosophy of Science 77 (5):662-673.
    The architects of the modern synthesis banned essentialism from evolutionary theory. This rejection of essentialism was motivated by Darwin’s theory of natural selection, and the continuity of evolutionary transformation. Contemporary evolutionary biology witnesses a renaissance of essentialism in three contexts: “origin essentialism” with respect to species and supraspecific taxa, the bar coding of species on the basis of discontinuities of DNA variation between populations, and the search for laws of evolutionary developmental biology. Such “new essentialism” in contemporary biology must be (...)
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  31. Olivier Rieppel & Elliott Sober, What's Wrong with the New Biological Essentialism.
    The received view in philosophy of biology is that biological taxa (species and higher taxa) do not have essences. Recently some philosophers (Boyd, Devitt, Griffiths, LaPorte, Okasha, and Wilson) have suggested new forms of biological essentialism. They argue that according to these new forms of essentialism biological taxa do have essences. This paper critically evaluates the new biological essentialism. The paper’s thesis is that the costs of adopting the new biological essentialism are many, yet the benefits are none. So there (...)
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  32. Teresa Robertson (2009). Essentialism and Reference to Kinds: Three Issues in Penelope Mackie'show Things Might Have Been: Individuals, Kinds, and Essential Properties. Philosophical Books 50 (3):125-141.
  33. Daniel Simberloff (1980). A Succession of Paradigms in Ecology: Essentialism to Materialism and Probabilism. Synthese 43 (1):3 - 39.
  34. Laurance J. Splitter (1988). Species and Identity. Philosophy of Science 55 (3):323-348.
    The purpose of this paper is to test the contemporary concept of biological species against some of the problems caused by treating species as spatiotemporally extended entities governed by criteria of persistence, identity, etc. After outlining the general problem of symmetric division in natural objects, I set out some useful distinctions (section 1) and confirm that species are not natural kinds (section 2). Section 3 takes up the separate issue of species definition, focusing on the Biological Species Concept (BSC). Sections (...)
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  35. David N. Stamos (2005). Pre-Darwinian Taxonomy and Essentialism – a Reply to Marywinsor. Biology and Philosophy 20 (1):79-96.
    Mary Winsor (2003) argues against the received view that pre-Darwinian taxonomy was characterized mainly by essentialism. She argues, instead, that the methods of pre-Darwinian taxonomists, in spite of whatever their beliefs, were that of clusterists, so that the received view, propagated mainly by certain modern biologists and philosophers of biology, should at last be put to rest as a myth. I argue that shes right when it comes to higher taxa, but wrong when it comes the most important category of (...)
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  36. Denis M. Walsh (2006). Evolutionary Essentialism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (2):425-448.
    According to Aristotelian essentialism, the nature of an organism is constituted of a particular goal-directed disposition to produce an organism typical of its kind. This paper argues—against the prevailing orthodoxy—that essentialism of this sort is indispensable to evolutionary biology. The most powerful anti-essentialist arguments purport to show that the natures of organisms play no explanatory role in modern synthesis biology. I argue that recent evolutionary developmental biology provides compelling evidence to the contrary. Developmental biology shows that one must appeal to (...)
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  37. John S. Wilkins, Essentialism in Biology.
    Essentialism in philosophy is the position that things, especially kinds of things, have essences, or sets of properties, that all members of the kind must have, and the combination of which only members of the kind do, in fact, have. It is usually thought to derive from classical Greek philosophy and in particular from Aristotle’s notion of “what it is to be” something. In biology, it has been claimed that pre-evolutionary views of living kinds, or as they are sometimes called, (...)
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  38. John S. Wilkins (forthcoming). Biological Essentialism and the Tidal Change of Natural Kinds. Science and Education.
    The vision of natural kinds that is most common in the modern philosophy of biology, particularly with respect to the question whether species and other taxa are natural kinds, is based on a revision of the notion by Mill in A System of Logic. However, there was another conception that Whewell had previously captured well, which taxonomists have always employed, of kinds as being types that need not have necessary and sufficient characters and properties, or essences. These competing views employ (...)
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  39. John S. Wilkins (2011). Philosophically Speaking, How Many Species Concepts Are There? Zootaxa 2765:58–60.
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  40. John S. Wilkins (2010). What is a Species? Essences and Generation. Theory in Biosciences 129:141-148.
    Arguments against essentialism in biology rely strongly on a claim that modern biology abandoned Aristotle's notion of a species as a class of necessary and sufficient properties. However, neither his theory of essentialism, nor his logical definition of species and genus (eidos and genos) play much of a role in biological research and taxonomy, including his own. The objections to natural kinds thinking by early twentieth century biologists wrestling with the new genetics overlooked the fact that species have typical developmental (...)
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  41. John S. Wilkins (2009). Species: A History of the Idea. Univ of California Pr.
    "--Joel Cracraft, American Museum of Natural History "This is not the potted history that one usually finds in texts and review articles.
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  42. John S. Wilkins (2009). Defining Species: A Sourcebook From Antiquity to Today. Peter Lang Pub Inc.
    Defining Species: A Sourcebook from Antiquity to Today provides excerpts and commentary on the definition of «species from source material ranging from the ...
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  43. Robert A. Wilson, Matthew J. Barker & Ingo Brigandt (2007). When Traditional Essentialism Fails. Philosophical Topics 35 (1-2):189-215.
    Essentialism is widely regarded as a mistaken view of biological kinds, such as species. After recounting why (sections 2-3), we provide a brief survey of the chief responses to the “death of essentialism” in the philosophy of biology (section 4). We then develop one of these responses, the claim that biological kinds are homeostatic property clusters (sections 5-6) illustrating this view with several novel examples (section 7). Although this view was first expressed 20 years ago, and has received recent discussion (...)
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  44. Mary P. Winsor (2006). The Creation of the Essentialism Story: An Exercise in Metahistory. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 28 (2):149 - 174.
    The essentialism story is a version of the history of biological classification that was fabricated between 1953 and 1968 by Ernst Mayr, who combined contributions from Arthur Cain and David Hull with his own grudge against Plato. It portrays pre-Darwinian taxonomists as caught in the grip of an ancient philosophy called essentialism, from which they were not released until Charles Darwin's 1859 Origin of Species. Mayr's motive was to promote the Modern Synthesis in opposition to the typology of idealist morphologists; (...)
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  45. Mary P. Winsor (2003). Non-Essentialist Methods in Pre-Darwinian Taxonomy. Biology and Philosophy 18 (3):387-400.
    The current widespread belief that taxonomic methods used before Darwin were essentialist is ill-founded. The essentialist method developed by followers of Plato and Aristotle required definitions to state properties that are always present. Polythetic groups do not obey that requirement, whatever may have been the ontological beliefs of the taxonomist recognizing such groups. Two distinct methods of forming higher taxa, by chaining and by examplar, were widely used in the period between Linnaeus and Darwin, and both generated polythetic groups. Philosopher (...)
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  46. D. Gene Witmer (2003). Dupre's Anti-Essentialist Objection to Reductionism. Philosophical Quarterly 53 (211):181-200.
    In his 'The Disorder of Things' John Dupré presents an objection to reductionism which I call the 'anti-essentialist objection': it is that reductionism requires essentialism, and essentialism is false. I unpack the objection and assess its cogency. Once the objection is clearly in view, it is likely to appeal to those who think conceptual analysis a bankrupt project. I offer on behalf of the reductionist two strategies for responding, one which seeks to rehabilitate conceptual analysis and one (more concessive) which (...)
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