The Species Problem: A Philosophical Analysis

Cambridge University Press (2010)
Abstract
There is long-standing disagreement among systematists about how to divide biodiversity into species. Over twenty different species concepts are used to group organisms, according to criteria as diverse as morphological or molecular similarity, interbreeding and genealogical relationships. This, combined with the implications of evolutionary biology, raises the worry that either there is no single kind of species, or that species are not real. This book surveys the history of thinking about species from Aristotle to modern systematics in order to understand the origin of the problem, and advocates a solution based on the idea of the division of conceptual labor, whereby species concepts function in different ways - theoretically and operationally. It also considers related topics such as individuality and the metaphysics of evolution, and how scientific terms get their meaning. This important addition to the current debate will be essential for philosophers and historians of science, and for biologists.
Keywords Species Philosophy  Biology Philosophy
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Call number QH83.R485 2010
ISBN(s) 9780521196833   0521196833
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Joel D. Velasco (2008). Species Concepts Should Not Conflict with Evolutionary History, but Often Do. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 39 (4):407-414.
Hugh Lehman (1967). Are Biological Species Real? Philosophy of Science 34 (2):157-167.
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.
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