David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Biology and Philosophy 22 (2):283-291 (2007)
The whole-part relationship is generally considered transitive, but there are some apparent exceptions. Componential sortals create some apparent problems. Homo sapiens, the Pope, and his heart are all individuals. A human being, such as the Pope, is an organism-level component of Homo sapiens. The Pope’s heart is an organ-level component of both Homo sapiens and the Pope. Although the Pope is a part, and not an instance, of the Roman Catholic Church, it seems odd to say that his heart is a part of that church. This is largely because the Pope’s heart does not have a place in the ecclesiastical government. However, it does contribute to the functioning of the organization. One popular alternative to the view that Homo sapiens is an individual is the notion that it is a natural kind. This has been done by redefining ‘natural kind’ in such a manner that not just the Roman Catholic Church, but the Pope and every other human being is a natural kind as well.
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Gregory J. Morgan & W. Brad Pitts (2008). Evolution Without Species: The Case of Mosaic Bacteriophages. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (4):745-765.
Michael T. Ghiselin (2009). Metaphysics and Classification: Update and Overview. Biological Theory 4 (3):253-259.
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