Microbiology and the species problem

Biology and Philosophy 25 (4):553-568 (2010)
Abstract
This paper examines the species problem in microbiology and its implications for the species problem more generally. Given the different meanings of ‘species’ in microbiology, the use of ‘species’ in biology is more multifarious and problematic than commonly recognized. So much so, that recent work in microbial systematics casts doubt on the existence of a prokaryote species category in nature. It also casts doubt on the existence of a general species category for all of life (one that includes both prokaryotes and eukaryotes). Prokaryote biology also undermines recent attempts to save the species category, such as the suggestion that species are metapopulation lineages and the idea that ‘species’ is a family resemblance concept.
Keywords Philosophy   Evolutionary Biology   Philosophy of Biology
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DOI 10.1007/s10539-010-9211-9
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Tim Lewens (2012). Species, Essence and Explanation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (4):751-757.
Carl Brusse (2016). Planets, Pluralism, and Conceptual Lineage. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 53:93-106.

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