Species, sets, and the derivative nature of philosophy

Biology and Philosophy 3 (1):49-66 (1988)
Concepts and methods originating in one discipline can distort the structure of another when they are applied to the latter. I exemplify this mostly with reference to systematic biology, especially problems which have arisen in relation to the nature of species. Thus the received views of classes, individuals (which term I suggest be replaced by units to avoid misunderstandings), and sets are all inapplicable, but each can be suitably modified. The concept of fuzzy set was developed to deal with species and I defend its applicability. Taxa at all levels are real and participate in biological processes. Analysis of cause and pattern provides the deep structure in which metabiology is grounded; violation of this principle has led to diverse errors in biology.
Keywords Concept transfer  species  sets
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DOI 10.1007/BF00127628
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References found in this work BETA
Ernst Mayr (1963). Animal Species and Evolution. Belknap of Harvard University Press.
Philip Kitcher (1984). Species. Philosophy of Science 51 (2):308-333.
Morton Beckner (1968). The Biological Way of Thought. Berkeley, University of California Press.

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