David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Biology and Philosophy 18 (4):583-588 (2003)
In a recent article, Alex Levine raises a paradox. It appears that, given some relatively uncontroversial premises about how a species term comes to refer to its species, a type specimen belongs necessarily and contingently to its species. According to Levine, this problem arises if species are individuals rather than natural kinds. I argue that the problem can be generalized: the problem also arises if species are kinds and type specimens are paradigmatic members used to baptize names for species. Indeed, the same problem arises with respect to kinds like gold and the samples used to ground names for them. After arguing that the paradox arises whether or not species are individuals, I attempt to show how the paradox can be resolved. Levine's argument that a type specimen belongs necessarily to its species is specious. The appeal of the argument stems from a failure to distinguish between two different modal statements concerning type specimens, one de dicto and the other de re. Type specimens belong contingently to their respective species. Even so, they can be known a priori to belong to them: hence, that a particular type specimen belongs to its species is an example of contingent a priori knowledge.
|Keywords||Alex Levine Contingent a priori De dicto De re Individuals Natural kinds Species Type specimens|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Matthew H. Haber (2012). How to Misidentify a Type Specimen. Biology and Philosophy 27 (6):767-784.
Similar books and articles
Bradley E. Wilson (1995). A (Not-so-Radical) Solution to the Species Problem. Biology and Philosophy 10 (3):339-356.
Keith A. Coleman & E. O. Wiley (2001). On Species Individualism: A New Defense of the Species-as-Individuals Hypothesis. Philosophy of Science 68 (4):498-517.
Marc Ereshefsky (2010). Microbiology and the Species Problem. Biology and Philosophy 25 (4):553-568.
Mark Ridley (1989). The Cladistic Solution to the Species Problem. Biology and Philosophy 4 (1):1-16.
Judith K. Crane (2004). On the Metaphysics of Species. Philosophy of Science 71 (2):156-173.
Joseph LaPorte (1997). Essential Membership. Philosophy of Science 64 (1):96-112.
Marc Ereshefsky (2010). Darwin's Solution to the Species Problem. Synthese 175 (3):405 - 425.
David B. Kitts & David J. Kitts (1979). Biological Species as Natural Kinds. Philosophy of Science 46 (4):613-622.
Ernst Mayr (1982). Comments on David Hull's Paper on Exemplars and Type Specimens. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:504 - 511.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads11 ( #132,704 of 1,096,870 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #106,891 of 1,096,870 )
How can I increase my downloads?