Species, higher taxa, and the units of evolution

Philosophy of Science 58 (1):84-101 (1991)
A number of authors argue that while species are evolutionary units, individuals and real entities, higher taxa are not. I argue that drawing the divide between species and higher taxa along such lines has not been successful. Common conceptions of evolutionary units either include or exclude both types of taxa. Most species, like all higher taxa, are not individuals, but historical entities. Furthermore, higher taxa are neither more nor less real than species. None of this implies that there is no distinction between species and higher taxa; the point is that such a distinction is more subtle than many authors have claimed.
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DOI 10.1086/289600
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James Maclaurin & Heather Dyke (2012). What is Analytic Metaphysics For? Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (2):291-306.
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.

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