Species are Processes: A Solution to the 'Species Problem' via an Extension of Ulanowicz's Ecological Metaphysics [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Axiomathes 22 (2):231-260 (2012)
Abstract The ‘species problem’ in the philosophy of biology concerns the nature of species. Various solutions have been proposed, including arguments that species are sets, classes, natural kinds, individuals, and homeostatic property clusters. These proposals parallel debates in ecology as to the ontology and metaphysics of populations, communities and ecosystems. A new solution—that species are processes—is proposed and defended, based on Robert Ulanowicz’s metaphysics of process ecology. As with ecological systems, species can be understood as emergent, autocatalytic systems with propensities for centripetality and mutuality in the course of dynamically balancing ascendency (order and persistence) and overhead (randomness and change). The species-as-processes perspective accords with the Ulanowicz’s postulates of process ecology and it can be accommodated by existing theories of species—particularly in a reframing of Richard Boyd’s metaphysics such that species are homeostatic process clusters. Rather than contending that process-based metaphysics is the only, best or true account of species, a pluralist-realist approach is advocated based on the pragmatic principles that are reflected in modern view of species and ecology. If species are understood to be comprised of processes and to be emergent processes themselves, there are important implications for the life sciences, including: animal models in medical and environmental studies, conservation biology, extinction, biodiversity, restoration ecology, and evolutionary biology. Content Type Journal Article Category Invited Paper Pages 1-30 DOI 10.1007/s10516-011-9169-5 Authors Jeffrey A. Lockwood, Department of Philosophy, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071, USA Journal Axiomathes Online ISSN 1572-8390 Print ISSN 1122-1151
|Keywords||Species problem Process philosophy Autocatalysis Centripetality Mutuality Ascendency Overhead Propensity Homeostatic property clusters|
|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
W. V. Quine (1969). Ontological Relativity and Other Essays. Columbia University Press.
Gregory Bateson (1972). Steps to an Ecology of Mind. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
Elliott Sober (2000). Philosophy of Biology. Westview Press.
Willard van Orman Quine (1996). Ontological Relativity and Other Essays. Columbia University Press.
Michael T. Ghiselin (1973). The Triumph of the Darwinian Method. Philosophy of Science 40 (3):466-467.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Mark Ridley (1989). The Cladistic Solution to the Species Problem. Biology and Philosophy 4 (1):1-16.
Bradley E. Wilson (1995). A (Not-so-Radical) Solution to the Species Problem. Biology and Philosophy 10 (3):339-356.
Marc Ereshefsky (2010). Darwin's Solution to the Species Problem. Synthese 175 (3):405 - 425.
Richard A. Richards (2010). The Species Problem: A Philosophical Analysis. Cambridge University Press.
Marc Ereshefsky (2010). Microbiology and the Species Problem. Biology and Philosophy 25 (4):553-568.
Olivier Rieppel (2009). Species as a Process. Acta Biotheoretica (1-2):33-49.
Judith K. Crane (2004). On the Metaphysics of Species. Philosophy of Science 71 (2):156-173.
Arthur C. Caplan (1980). Have Species Become Declasse? Psa 1980:71-82.
Ingo Brigandt (2003). Species Pluralism Does Not Imply Species Eliminativism. Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1305–1316.
Catherine Kendig, An Ontogenetic-Ecological Conception of Species: A New Approach to an Old Idea. EPSA09: 2nd Conference of the European Philosophy of Science Association. Online at PhilSci Archive.
Martin Mahner (1993). What Is a Species? A Contribution to the Never Ending Species Debate in Biology. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 24 (1):103 - 126.
Michael T. Ghiselin (1974). A Radical Solution to the Species Problem. Systematic Zoology 23:536-44.
Added to index2011-07-12
Total downloads37 ( #96,515 of 1,781,386 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #207,233 of 1,781,386 )
How can I increase my downloads?