Species and identity

Philosophy of Science 55 (3):323-348 (1988)
The purpose of this paper is to test the contemporary concept of biological species against some of the problems caused by treating species as spatiotemporally extended entities governed by criteria of persistence, identity, etc. After outlining the general problem of symmetric division in natural objects, I set out some useful distinctions (section 1) and confirm that species are not natural kinds (section 2). Section 3 takes up the separate issue of species definition, focusing on the Biological Species Concept (BSC). Sections 4 and 5 examine the matter of species identity over space and time respectively, as determined by the BSC. Both gradualistic and punctuated equilibrium models of speciation are discussed. In section 6 I argue that the BSC fails to determine adequate criteria for dealing with certain kinds of speciation. Section 7 moves speculatively beyond the BSC to a brief examination of alternatives.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA
    Similar books and articles
    Michael Ruse (1987). Biological Species: Natural Kinds, Individuals, or What? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 38 (2):225-242.
    Philip Kitcher (1984). Species. Philosophy of Science 51 (2):308-333.
    Hugh Lehman (1967). Are Biological Species Real? Philosophy of Science 34 (2):157-167.
    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.
    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.

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    30 ( #49,053 of 1,088,810 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,666 of 1,088,810 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.