David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Perspectives on Science 17 (1):pp. 78-104 (2009)
Much recent scholarly treatment of the theoretical and practical underpinnings of biological taxonomy from the 16 th to the 18 th centuries has failed to adequately consider the importance of the mode of generation of some living entity in the determination of its species membership, as well as in the determination of the ontological profile of the species itself. In this article, I show how a unique set of considerations was brought to bear in the classification of creatures whose species membership was thought to be entirely determined by descent from parents of the same kind, in contrast with creatures whose generation could proceed spontaneously or through budding. Concretely, the relevance of mode of generation to the practice of taxonomy means that we must rethink the role of the early modern botanists in the development of a universal science of applied taxonomy. I argue that the task of classifying ‘higher’ biological kinds—those united, in Kant’s language, through their generative power—is one with its unique set of problems, arising as much from classical anthropology as from natural philosophy, and that the conception of zoological species that emerged in the early modern period was a consequence of these problems, and not primarily of the ‘applied metaphysics’ of classificatory practice.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
David L. Hull (1965). The Effect of Essentialism on Taxonomy--Two Thousand Years of Stasis (I). British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 15 (60):314-326.
Lorraine Daston (2004). Type Specimens and Scientific Memory. Critical Inquiry 31 (1):153-182.
Roger Ariew (1998). Leibniz On the Unicorn and Various Other Curiosities. Early Science and Medicine 3 (4):267-288.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Deborah Boyle (2006). Spontaneous and Sexual Generation in Conway's Principles. In Justin E. H. Smith (ed.), The Problem of Animal Generation in Early Modern Philosophy. Cambridge University Press
Vincent Aucante (2006). Descartes' Experiments and the Generation of Animals. In Justin E. H. Smith (ed.), The Problem of Animal Generation in Early Modern Philosophy. Cambridge University Press
Andreas Blank (2006). Atoms and Minds in Walter Charleton's Theory of Animal Generation. In Justin E. H. Smith (ed.), The Problem of Animal Generation in Early Modern Philosophy. Cambridge University Press
Andrew Pyle (2006). Malebranche on Animal Generation : Preexistence and the Microscope. In Justin E. H. Smith (ed.), The Problem of Animal Generation in Early Modern Philosophy. Cambridge University Press
Annie Bitbol-Hespériès (2006). Monsters, Nature, and Generation From the Renaissance to the Early Modern Period : The Emergence of Medical Thought. In Justin E. H. Smith (ed.), The Problem of Animal Generation in Early Modern Philosophy. Cambridge University Press
Justin E. H. Smith (ed.) (2006). The Problem of Animal Generation in Early Modern Philosophy. Cambridge University Press.
Nicole Leroux, What Are Biological Species? : The Impact of the Current Debate in Taxonomy on the Species Problem.
Francesco Paolo de Ceglia (2006). Soul Power : Georg Ernst Stahl and the Debate on Generation. In Justin E. H. Smith (ed.), The Problem of Animal Generation in Early Modern Philosophy. Cambridge University Press
John S. Wilkins (2010). What is a Species? Essences and Generation. Theory in Biosciences 129:141-148.
Added to index2009-01-31
Total downloads16 ( #236,351 of 1,911,671 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #458,010 of 1,911,671 )
How can I increase my downloads?