What's Wrong with the New Biological Essentialism

Philosophy of Science 77 (5):674-685 (2010)
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 there is no compelling reason to resurrect essentialism concerning biological taxa
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DOI 10.1086/656545
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Tim Lewens (2012). Human Nature: The Very Idea. Philosophy and Technology 25 (4):459-474.
Brian M. Donovan (2015). Putting Humanity Back Into the Teaching of Human Biology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 52:65-75.
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.

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