David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy of Science 70 (5):989-1001 (2003)
The paper argues that, at least below the species level, biological populations are not mind-independent objects that are discovered by scientists. Rather, biological populations are pragmatically constituted as objects of investigation according to the aims, interests, and values that inform specific research contexts. Biological populations are defined on the basis of relations among organisms such as breeding, genealogy, and competition. Although these relations are objective, the kind and the degree of relations that are privileged depend on the context of investigation. Although the groups delineated are statistically defined open-ended biological systems, they are rendered as discrete units in order to fulfil various theoretical and practical aims.
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Citations of this work BETA
Jacob Stegenga (2010). Population is Not a Natural Kind of Kinds. Biological Theory 5 (2):154-160.
Roberta L. Millstein (2009). Populations as Individuals. Biological Theory 4 (3):267-273.
Matthew J. Barker & Joel D. Velasco (2014). Deep Conventionalism About Evolutionary Groups. Philosophy of Science 80 (5):971-982.
Jacob Stegenga (2010). "Population" Is Not a Natural Kind of Kinds. Biological Theory 5 (2):154–160.
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