Integration, individuality and species concepts

Biology and Philosophy 17 (5):651-660 (2002)
Abstract
Integration (interaction among parts of an entity) is suggested to be necessary for individuality (contra, Metaphysics and the Origin of Species). A synchronic species is an integrated individual that can evolve as a unified whole; a diachronic lineage is a non-integrated historical entity that cannot evolve. Synchronic species and diachronic lineages are consequently suggested to be ontologically distinct entities, rather than alternative perspectives of the same underlying entity (contra Baum (1998), Syst. Biol. 47, 641–653; de Queiroz (1995), Endless Forms: Species and Speciation, pp. 57–75; Genes, Categories and Species). Species concepts usually refer to either one or the other entity; for instance, the Biological Species Concept refers to synchronic species, whereas the Cladistic Species Concept refers to diachronic lineages. The debate over species concepts has often failed to recognise this distinction, resulting in invalid comparisons between definitions that attempt to delineate fundamentally different entities.
Keywords Clade  Historical entity  Individual  Integration  Lineage  Ontology  Organism  Species
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