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  1. Yuichi Amitani (2015). Prototypical Reasoning About Species and the Species Problem. Biological Theory 10 (4):289-300.
    The species problem is often described as the abundance of conflicting definitions of _species_, such as the biological species concept and phylogenetic species concepts. But biologists understand the notion of species in a non-definitional as well as a definitional way. In this article I argue that when they understand _species_ without a definition in their mind, their understanding is often mediated by the notion of _good species_, or prototypical species, as the idea of ``prototype'' is explicated in cognitive psychology. This (...)
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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. Matthew J. Barker (2013). Biological Explanations, Realism, Ontology, and Categories. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):617-622.
  5. Matthew J. Barker (2010). Specious intrinsicalism. Philosophy of Science 77 (1):73-91.
    Over the last 2,300 years or so, many philosophers have believed that species are individuated by essences that are at least in part intrinsic. Psychologists tell us most folks also believe this view. But most philosophers of biology have abandoned the view, in light of evolutionary conceptions of species. In defiance, Michael Devitt has attempted in this journal to resurrect a version of the view, which he calls Intrinsic Biological Essentialism. I show that his arguments for the resurrection fail, and (...)
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  6. Matthew J. Barker & Joel D. Velasco (2013). Deep Conventionalism About Evolutionary Groups. Philosophy of Science 80 (5):971-982.
    We argue for a new conventionalism about many kinds of evolutionary groups, including clades, cohesive units, and populations. This rejects a consensus, which says that given any one of the many legitimate grouping concepts, only objective biological facts determine whether a collection is such a group. Surprisingly, being any one kind of evolutionary group typically depends on which of many incompatible values are taken by suppressed variables. This is a novel pluralism underlying most any one group concept, rather than a (...)
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  7. Matthew J. Barker & Robert A. Wilson (2010). Cohesion, Gene Flow, and the Nature of Species. Journal of Philosophy 107 (2):59-77.
    A far-reaching and influential view in evolutionary biology claims that species are cohesive units held together by gene flow. Biologists have recognized empirical problems facing this view; after sharpening the expression of the view, we present novel conceptual problems for it. At the heart of these problems is a distinction between two importantly different concepts of cohesion, what we call integrative and response cohesion. Acknowledging the distinction problematizes both the explanandum of species cohesion and the explanans of gene flow that (...)
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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. Barbara Pfeffer Billauer, Human Reproductive Cloning: Science, Jewish Law and Metaphysics. ssrn.com.
    Abstract: Under traditional Jewish Law (halacha), assessment of human reproductive cloning (HRC) has been formulated along four lines of inquiry, which I discussed in Part I of this paper. Therein I also analyze five relevant doctrines of Talmudic Law, concluding that under with a risk-benefit analysis HRC fails to fulfill the obligation ‘to be fruitful and multiply’ and should be strictly prohibited. Here, I review of the topic from an exigetical Biblical and Kabbalistic perspective, beginning with exploring comments of the (...)
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  11. Ingo Brigandt (2009). Natural Kinds in Evolution and Systematics: Metaphysical and Epistemological Considerations. Acta Biotheoretica 57 (1-2):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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  12. Carl 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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  13. 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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  14. Kevin De Queiroz & Michael J. Donoghue (1988). Phylogenetic Systematics and the Species Problem. Cladistics 4:317-38.
  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. Travis Dumsday (2010). Defending an Essentialist Ontology of Kinds, Laws, and Biological Taxa. Dissertation, Proquest
  18. 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.
  19. John Dupré (1993). The Disorder of Things: Metaphysical Foundations of the Disunity of Science. Harvard University Press.
  20. Berent Enç (1975). Necessary Properties and Linnaean Essentialism. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 5 (1):83 - 102.
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  21. 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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  22. Marc Ereshefsky (2014). Species, Historicity, and Path Dependency. Philosophy of Science 81 (5):714-726.
    This paper clarifies the historical nature of species by showing that species are path-dependent entities. A species’ identity is not determined by its intrinsic properties or its origin, but by its unique evolutionary path. Seeing that species are path-dependent entities has three implications: it shows that origin essentialism is mistaken, it rebuts two challenges to the species-are-historical-entities thesis, and it demonstrates that the identity of a species during speciation depends on future events.
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  23. Marc Ereshefsky (2010). What's Wrong with the New Biological Essentialism. Philosophy of Science 77 (5):674-685.
    The received view in the 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 article critically evaluates the new biological essentialism. This article’s thesis is that the costs of adopting the new biological essentialism are many, yet the benefits are none, so (...)
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  24. Marc Ereshefsky, Species. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  25. Marc Ereshefsky (2002). Linnaean Ranks: Vestiges of a Bygone Era. Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S305-S315.
    We tend to think that there are different types of biological taxa: some taxa are species, others are genera, while others are families. Linnaeus gave us his ranks in 1731. Biological theory has changed since Linnaeus’s time. Nevertheless, the vast majority of biologists still assign Linnaean ranks to taxa, even though that practice is at odds with evolutionary theory and even though it causes a number of practical problems. The Linnaean ranks should be abandoned and alternative methods for displaying the (...)
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  26. 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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  27. 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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  28. 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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  29. Susan A. Gelman & Lawrence A. Hirschfeld (1999). How Biological is Essentialism. In D. Medin & S. Atran (eds.), Folkbiology. MIT Press 403--446.
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  30. Santiago Ginnobili (2005). ¿Qué son realmente las especies? La búsqueda de clases naturales en biología. Análisis Filosófico 25 (1):45-61.
    En What Emotions Really Are y en otros artículos, Griffiths afirma que las clases naturales de los organismos vivos en Biología son cladistas. La afirmación está inmersa en una nueva teoría acerca de las clases naturales. En este trabajo examinaré los argumentos esgrimidos por Griffiths para sostener el estatus privilegiado de las clasificaciones cladistas frente a otras clasificaciones. No se discutirá la teoría de las clases naturales ofrecida, de cuyos méritos no dudo, sino su capacidad para ofrecer una solución en (...)
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  31. Paul E. Griffiths (1999). Squaring the Circle: Natural Kinds with Historical Essences. In Robert A. Wilson (ed.), Species: New Interdisciplinary Essays. MIT Press 209-228.
  32. Devin Henry (2014). The Birds and the Bees: Aristotle on the Biological Concept of Analogy. In Gary M. Gurtler S. J. & William Wians (eds.), Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy. Brill 145-169.
  33. 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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  34. Phillip Honenberger (2015). Grene and Hull on Types and Typological Thinking in Biology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 50:13-25.
    Marjorie Grene (1910-2009) and David Hull (1935-2010) were among the most influential voices in late twentieth-century philosophy of biology. But, as Grene and Hull pointed out in published discussions of one another’s work over the course of nearly forty years, they disagreed strongly on fundamental issues. Among these contested issues is the role of what is sometimes called “typology” and “typological thinking” in biology. In regard to taxonomy and the species problem, Hull joined Ernst Mayr’s construal of typological thinking as (...)
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  35. David Hull (1999). On the Plurality of Species: Questioning the Party Line. In R. Wilson (ed.), Species: New Interdisciplinary Essays. MIT Press 23-48.
  36. David L. Hull (1965). The Effect of Essentialism on Taxonomy--Two Thousand Years of Stasis (II). British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 16 (61):1-18.
  37. 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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  38. 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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  39. Maria Kronfeldner, Neil Roughley & Georg Toepfer (2014). Recent Work on Human Nature: Beyond Traditional Essences. Philosophy Compass 9 (9):642-652.
    Recent philosophical work on the concept of human nature disagrees on how to respond to the Darwinian challenge, according to which biological species do not have traditional essences. Three broad kinds of reactions can be distinguished: (1) conservative intrinsic essentialism, which defends essences in the traditional sense, (2) eliminativism, which suggests dropping the concept of human nature altogether, and (3) constructive approaches, which argue that revisions can generate sensible concepts of human nature beyond traditional essences. The different constructive approaches pick (...)
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  40. 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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  41. Georgy S. Levit & Kay Meister (2006). The History of Essentialism Vs. Ernst Mayr's "Essentialism Story": A Case Study of German Idealistic Morphology. Theory in Biosciences 124:281-307.
    Idealistic morphology as perhaps the most important historical manifestation of typology is very suitable for a historical analysis of Ernst Mayr's “Essentialism Story”, which postulates an antagonism between “typological thinking” and “population thinking”. We show that Germanlanguage idealistic-morphological theories consisted of two clearly distinguishable parts. The cornerstone of these theories was the concept of the type as an abstract pattern representing a certain class of phenomena and embodying the norm of this class. The primary objective of pure typology was to (...)
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  42. Fraser MacBride (2001). Can the Property Boom Last? Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 101 (3):225–246.
    The contemporary Humean programme that seeks to combine property realism with the denial of necessary connections between distinct existences is flawed. Objects and properties by their very natures are entangled in such connections. It follows that modal notions cannot be reductively analysed by appeal to the concept property, not even if the reducing theory posits an abundant supply of entities to fall under that concept.
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  43. 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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  44. Ernst Mayr (1982). The Growth of Biological Thought Diversity, Evolution, and Inheritance. Belknap Press.
  45. Ernst Mayr (1957). Species Concepts and Definitions. In The Species Problem. American Association for the Advancement of Science 1-22.
  46. Gordon McOuat (2009). The Origins of 'Natural Kinds': Keeping 'Essentialism' at Bay in the Age of Reform. Intellectual History Review 19 (2):211-230.
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  47. Gordon McOuat (2003). The Logical Systematist: George Bentham and His Outline of a New System of Logic. Archives of Natural History 30:203-223.
    George Bentham was not only a great natural historian, he was, initially, a philosopher and logician of enormous promise. His first published work, the oft-forgotten Outline of a new system of logic (1827) has been heralded by some as the opening salvo in the overthrow of the Aristotelian syllogism's grip on logical inference. The move was a defiant political gesture. The young Bentham composed Outline in close concert with his famous uncle, the great utilitarian Jeremy Bentham, expanding and evolving Jeremy's (...)
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  48. 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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  49. 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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  50. 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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