The Indeterminacy Problem for Species-as-Individuals
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Of those who believe that biological species are real, the dominant metaphysics of species is that they are individuals. While the arguments for this view have been thoroughly criticized in the last quarter thirty years, comparatively less effort has been spent trying to show that the view is actually false. My primary concern in the present paper is to detail a metaphysical problem for the species-as-individuals thesis that should at least give potential adherents great pause. Second, I will sketch a “deflationary” approach to the metaphysics of species which requires us to swallow fewer contentious philosophical claims and yet still accommodate the intuitions that species are real.
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