Darwinism, process structuralism, and natural kinds

Philosophy of Science 63 (3):9 (1996)
Abstract
Darwinists classify biological traits either by their ancestry (homology) or by their adaptive role. Only the latter can provide traditional natural kinds, but only the former is practicable. Process structuralists exploit this embarrassment to argue for non-Darwinian classifications in terms of underlying developmental mechanisms. This new taxonomy will also explain phylogenetic inertia and developmental constraint. I argue that Darwinian homologies are natural kinds despite having historical essences and being spatio-temporally restricted. Furthermore, process structuralist explanations of biological form require an unwarranted assumption about the space of developmental possibility
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    Citations of this work BETA
    Makmiller Pedroso (2012). Essentialism, History, and Biological Taxa. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (1):182-190.
    Timothy Shanahan (2011). Phylogenetic Inertia and Darwin's Higher Law. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 42 (1):60-68.

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