David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 177 (1):91 - 109 (2010)
The concept of population thinking was introduced by Ernst Mayr as the right way of thinking about the biological domain, but it is difficult to find an interpretation of this notion that is both unproblematic and does the theoretical work it was intended to do. I argue that, properly conceived, Mayr’s population thinking is a version of trope nominalism: the view that biological property-types do not exist or at least they play no explanatory role. Further, although population thinking has been traditionally used to argue against essentialism about biological kinds, recently it has been suggested that it may be consistent with at least some forms of essentialism—ones that construe essential properties as relational. I argue that if population thinking is a version of trope nominalism, then, as Mayr originally claimed, it rules out any version of essentialism about biological kinds.
|Keywords||Natural selection Tropes Trope nominalism Population thinking Ernst Mayr|
|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
Andre Ariew (2008). As a Metaphysical Thesis: Mayr and Sober. In Michael Ruse (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Biology. Oxford University Press. 64.
André Ariew & R. C. Lewontin (2004). The Confusions of Fitness. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (2):347-363.
Frédéric Bouchard & Alex Rosenberg (2004). Fitness, Probability and the Principles of Natural Selection. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (4):693-712.
Richard Boyd (1999). Homeostasis, Species, and Higher Taxa. In R. A. Wilson (ed.), Species: New Interdisciplinary Essays. Mit Press. 141-85.
Robert N. Brandon (2006). The Principle of Drift: Biology's First Law. Journal of Philosophy 103 (7):319-335.
Citations of this work BETA
Bence Nanay (2011). Replication Without Replicators. Synthese 179 (455):477.
Similar books and articles
Marc Ereshefsky (2010). What's Wrong with the New Biological Essentialism. Philosophy of Science 77 (5):674-685.
Lisa Gannett (2001). Racism and Human Genome Diversity Research: The Ethical Limits of "Population Thinking". Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2001 (3):S479-.
John Beatty (1994). The Proximate/Ultimate Distinction in the Multiple Careers of Ernst Mayr. Biology and Philosophy 9 (3):333-356.
Margaret Morrison (2004). Population Genetics and Population Thinking: Mathematics and the Role of the Individual. Philosophy of Science 71 (5):1189-1200.
Douglas Ehring (2004). Property Counterparts and Natural Class Trope Nominalism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (3):443 – 463.
Douglas Ehring (2002). The Causal Argument Against Natural Class Trope Nominalism. Philosophical Studies 107 (2):179 - 190.
Elliott Sober (1980). Evolution, Population Thinking, and Essentialism. Philosophy of Science 47 (3):350-383.
Carl Chung (2003). On the Origin of the Typological/Population Distinction in Ernst Mayr's Changing Views of Species, 1942-1959. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 34 (2):277-296.
Added to index2009-08-03
Total downloads39 ( #48,744 of 1,140,253 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #32,080 of 1,140,253 )
How can I increase my downloads?