David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Biology and Philosophy 19 (2):223-242 (2004)
There is no question that the constituents of cells and organisms are joined together by the part-whole relation. Genes are part of cells, and cells are part of organisms. Species taxa, however, have traditionally been conceived of, not as wholes with parts, but as classes with members. But why does the relation change abruptly from part-whole to class-membership above the level of organisms? Ghiselin, Hull and others have argued that it doesn't. Cells and organisms are cohesive mereological sums, and since species taxa are like cells and organisms in the relevant respects, they, too, are cohesive mereological sums. I provide further reasons in support of the thesis that species are mereological sums. I argue, moreover, that the advocate of this thesis is committed to a form of pluralism with respect to the species concept.
|Keywords||Philosophy Philosophy of Biology Evolutionary Biology|
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Citations of this work BETA
Thomas A. C. Reydon (2008). Species in Three and Four Dimensions. Synthese 164 (2):161 - 184.
Matthew J. Barker (2007). The Empirical Inadequacy of Species Cohesion by Gene Flow. Philosophy of Science 74 (5):654-665.
John Mizzoni (2008). Franciscan Biocentrism and the Franciscan Tradition. Ethics and the Environment 13 (1):pp. 121-134.
Olivier Rieppel (2013). Biological Individuals and Natural Kinds. Biological Theory 7 (2):162-169.
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