In defence of classification

It has increasingly been recognised that units of biological classification cannot be identified with the units of evolution. After briefly defending the necessity of this distinction I argue, contrary to the prevailing orthodoxy, that species should be treated as the fundamental units of classification and not, therefore, as units of evolution. This perspective fits well with the increasing tendency to reject the search for a monistic basis of classification and embrace a pluralistic and pragmatic account of the species category. It also provides a diagnosis of the paradoxical but popular idea that species are individuals: Species are not individuals, but the units of evolution are.
Keywords Natural Kinds
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DOI 10.1016/S1369-8486(01)00003-6
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Brendan Clarke (2011). Causation and Melanoma Classification. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 32 (1):19-32.
Tim Lewens (2012). Pheneticism Reconsidered. Biology and Philosophy 27 (2):159-177.
Thomas A. C. Reydon (2005). On the Nature of the Species Problem and the Four Meanings of 'Species'. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 36 (1):135-158.
Maureen A. O'Malley & John Dupré (2007). Towards a Philosophy of Microbiology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 38 (4):775-779.

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