Edited by John Wilkins (University of Sydney, University of Melbourne, University of Melbourne)
About this topic
Summary The metaphysics and epistemology of species is a highly contested area in biology, from well before Darwin. Since the New Synthesis, however, philosophers have engaged in discussions regarding essentialism in biology, the role of cladistics and the Linnaean taxonomic methods, and the ontology of systematics. 
Key works Ereshefsky 2000: The Poverty of the Linnaean Hierarchy Wilkins 2009: Species: A History of the Idea Richards 2010: The Species Problem: A Philosophical Analysis
Introductions Wilkins 2011 Wilkins 2010
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Material to categorize
  1. Reproduction of the Species Publicator Codex.Richard Abel - 1990 - Logos 1 (1):22-26.
  2. Solution of the Problem of Species.Mortimer J. Adler - 1941 - The Thomist 3:279-379.
  3. Problems for Thomists: I. - The Problem of Species.Mortimer J. Adler - 1939 - The Thomist 1:381.
  4. John Locke and Natural Philosophy.R. Anstey Peter - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
    1. Natural philosophy -- 2. Corpuscular pessimism -- 3. Natural history -- 4. Hypothese and analogy -- 5. Vortices, the deluge, and cohesion -- 6. Mathematics -- 7. Demonstration -- 8. Explanation -- 9. Iatrochemistyr -- 10. Generation -- 11. Species.
  5. Sok. Il, RR 1973. The Species Problem Reconsidered. Syst. Zool 22: 360-374. Sokal, RR, and T.]. Crovello. 1970. The Biological Species Concept: A Critical Evaluation. Amer. Nat. 104: 127-153. Stace, CA 1978. Breeding Systems, Variation Patterns and Species Delimitation. Pp. 57-78, in Essays in Plant Taxonomy (HE Street, Ed.). Academic Press, New York. [REVIEW]Arnold Arb - 1994 - In E. Sober (ed.), Conceptual Issues in Evolutionary Biology. The Mit Press. Bradford Books. pp. 31--232.
  6. Origin of the Species and Genus Concepts: An Anthropological Perspective.Scott Atran - 1987 - Journal of the History of Biology 20 (2):195-279.
  7. Pre-Theoretical Aspects of Aristotelian Definition and Classification of Animals: The Case for Common Sense.Scott Atran - 1985 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 16 (2):113-163.
  8. Description of a New Species of Ampripod.K. H. Barnard - 1951 - Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa 33 (2):279-282.
  9. 2. Cross-Species Encounters.Jane Bennett - 2001 - In The Enchantment of Modern Life: Attachments, Crossings, and Ethics. Princeton University Press. pp. 17-32.
  10. The Heart of the Matter: Animal Bodies, Ethics, and Species Boundaries.Lynda Birke & Mike Michael - 1998 - Society and Animals 6 (3):245-261.
    This article addresses some of the ways in which the development of xenotransplantation, the use of nonhuman animals as organ donors, are presented in media accounts. Although xenotransplantation raises many ethical and philosophical questions, media coverage typically minimizes these. At issue are widespread public concerns about the transgression of species boundaries, particularly those between humans and other animals. We consider how these are constructed in media narratives, and how those narratives, in turn, rely on particular scientific discourses that posit species (...)
  11. Not for Their Own Sake.Borjesson Gary - 1999 - Review of Metaphysics 52 (4):867-896.
  12. Not for Their Own Sake: Species and the Riddle of Individuality.Gary Borjesson - 1999 - Review of Metaphysics 52 (4):867 - 896.
  13. Actuality and Evolutionary Potential: A Study of Species.Gary Borjesson - 1997 - Dissertation, Emory University
    Considering the official role species play in evolution, there is surprisingly little agreement among scientists or philosophers about what sort of entities species are. Many of the difficulties originate from wholly unexamined, faulty presuppositions about change and causation that characterize most thinking in modern science and philosophy. Thus, since species are essentially bound up with evolutionary change, a coherent account of their nature will require in turn a metaphysically disciplined understanding of change. This study provides both. ;This study considers the (...)
  14. The Impact of Theories of Generation Upon the Concept of a Biological Species in the Last Half of the Eighteenth Century.Peter J. Bowler & Toronto - 1971 - The Author.
  15. New Species MarBEF.Geoff Boxshall, Rod Bray & Olive Heffernan - 2004 - Complexity 2:101-109.
  16. David N. Stamos, The Species Problem: Biological Species, Ontology, and the Metaphysics of Biology Reviewed By.Bryson Brown - 2004 - Philosophy in Review 24 (5):371-374.
  17. The Threefold Parallelism of Agassiz and Haeckel, and Polarity Determination in Phylogenetic Systematics.Harold N. Bryant - 1995 - Biology and Philosophy 10 (2):197-217.
  18. Richard A. Richards, The Species Problem: A Philosophical Analysis (Studies in Philosophy and Biology).Zdenka Brzović - 2010 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 30:124-128.
  19. Understanding Brains by Comparing Taxa.Theodore H. Bullock - 1984 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 27 (4):510-524.
  20. Animal Species and Their Evolution.Arthur J. Cain & Michael T. Ghiselin - 1994 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 16 (2):355.
  21. Should Endangered Species Have Standing? Toward Legal Rights for Listed Species.J. Baird Callicott & William Grove-Fanning - 2009 - Social Philosophy and Policy 26 (2):317-352.
    The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) is America's strongest environmental law. Its citizen-suit provisionany personawards implicit intrinsic value, de facto standing, and operational legal rights (sensu Christopher D. Stone) to listed species. Accordingly, some cases had gone forward in the federal courts in the name of various listed species between 1979 (Palila v. Hawaii Dept. of Land & Natural Resources) and 2004 (Cetacean Community v. Bush), when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that animals could not sue in (...)
  22. On Two Species of Ichneumonidæ Parasitic on the Codling Moth in Cape Colony.P. Cameron - 1905 - Transactions of the South African Philosophical Society 16 (1):337-339.
  23. Have Species Become Declasse?Arthur C. Caplan - 1980 - Psa 1980:71-82.
    Traditionally, species have been treated as classes or kinds in philosophical discussions of systematics and evolutionary biology. Recently a number of biologists and philosophers have proposed a drastic revision of this traditional ontological categorization. They have argued that species ought be viewed as individuals rather than as classes or natural kinds. In this paper an attempt is made to show that (a) the reasons advanced in support of this new view of species are not persuasive, (b) a reasonable explication can (...)
  24. Back to Class: A Note on the Ontology of Species.Arthur L. Caplan - 1981 - Philosophy of Science 48 (1):130-140.
  25. Have Species Become Déclassé?Arthur L. Caplan - 1980 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1980:71 - 82.
    Traditionally, species have been treated as classes or kinds in philosophical discussions of systematics and evolutionary biology. Recently a number of biologists and philosophers have proposed a drastic revision of this traditional ontological categorization. They have argued that species ought be viewed as individuals rather than as classes or natural kinds. In this paper an attempt is made to show that (a) the reasons advanced in support of this new view of species are not persuasive, (b) a reasonable explication can (...)
  26. Locke's Species: Money and Philosophy in the 1690s.Daniel Carey - 2013 - Annals of Science 70 (3):1-24.
    John Locke intervened in two major debates in which the issue of species featured: the question of whether species designations are based on real essences or only nominal essences , and the debate over the recoinage of English currency in the 1690s, in which Locke argued for a restoration of silver depleted by widescale clipping . This article investigates Locke's position on the recoinage and considers alternative proposals in the period, including those which advocated the introduction of a ‘new species’ (...)
  27. Hybridization and the Typological Paradigm.Charles Carlson - unknown
    The presence of parasites in a population has an impact on mate choice and has substantial evolutionary significance. A relatively unexplored aspect of this dynamic is whether or not the presence of parasites increases the likelihood of hybridization events, which also have a significant role in ecological adaptation. One explanation of increased hybridization in some areas and not others is that stress from parasites results in selection for an increase of novel genotypes. Two swordtail species Xiphophorus birchmanni and Xiphophorus malinche (...)
  28. The Species Problem: Seeking New Solutions for Philosophers and Biologists.Geoff Chambers - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (5):755-765.
  29. The Concept of 'Species Being' in the Works of Feuerbach and Marx.Kit Richard Christensen - 1982 - Dissertation, Purdue University
    In the philosophical works of both Ludwig Feuerback and Karl Marx , reference is made to an important technical concept usually rendered in English as 'species being' . That is, in the context of the analysis of human life and activity, both philosophers periodically speak of 'man's species being', and/or just claim that 'man' is a 'species being'. The primary objectives of the present study have been: to carry out a comprehensive analysis and elucidation of this concept of 'species being', (...)
  30. Species Are Real Biological Entities.Michael F. Claridge - 2010 - In Francisco José Ayala & Robert Arp (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Biology. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 91--109.
  31. 3 Species and Organisms: What Are the Problems?Ellen Clarke & Samir Okasha - 2013 - In Philippe Huneman & Frédéric Bouchard (eds.), From Groups to Individuals. Evolution and Emerging Individuality. MIT Press. pp. 55.
  32. On Species Individualism: A New Defense of the Species-as-Individuals Hypothesis.Keith A. Coleman & E. O. Wiley - 2001 - Philosophy of Science 68 (4):498-517.
    We attempt to defend the species-as-individuals hypothesis by examining the logical role played by the binomials (e.g., "Homo sapiens," "Pinus ponderosa") in biological discourse about species. Those who contend that the binomials can be properly understood as functioning in biological theory as singular terms opt for an objectual account of species and view species as individuals. Those who contend that the binomials can in principle be eliminated from biological theory in favor of predicate expressions opt for a predicative account of (...)
  33. Taxa, Individuals, Clusters and a Few Other Things.Donald H. Colless - 2005 - Biology and Philosophy 21 (3):353-367.
    The recognition of species proceeds by two fairly distinct phases: (1) the sorting of individuals into groups or basic taxa (‘discovery’) (2) the checking of those taxa as candidates for species-hood (‘justification’). The target here is a rational reconstruction of phase 1, beginning with a discussion of key terms. The transmission of ‘meaning’ is regarded as bimodal: definition states the intension of the term, and diagnosis provides a disjunction of criteria for recognition of its extension. The two are connected by (...)
  34. A Unified Approach to Species.John Collier - unknown
    There are a number of different species concepts currently in use. The variety results from differing desiderata and practices of taxonomists, ecologists and evolutionary theorists. Recently, arguments have been presented for pluralism about species. I believe this is unsatisfactory, however, because of the central role of species in biological theory. Taking the line that species are individuals, I ask what might individuate them. In other work I have argued that dynamical systems are individuated by their cohesion. I present here a (...)
  35. On the Origin of Species: A Response to "Crossing Species Boundaries" by Jason Scott Robert and Francoise Baylis.Paul Copland - 2004 - American Journal of Bioethics 4 (1):35-35.
  36. Comments on the Melting Mechanism for Crystalline Species.P. R. Couchman & W. A. Jessee - 1977 - Philosophical Magazine 35 (3):787-790.
  37. Recombination, Mutation and the Origin of Species.Edward C. Cox - 1995 - Bioessays 17 (9):747-749.
  38. Species Concepts and Natural Goodness.Judith K. Crane & Ronald Sandler - 2011 - In Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke & Matthew H. Slater (eds.), Carving Nature at its Joints: Natural Kinds in Metaphysics and Science. MIT Press. pp. 289.
    This chapter defends a pluralist understanding of species on which a normative species concept is viable and can support natural goodness evaluations. The central question here is thus: Since organisms are to be evaluated as members of their species, how does a proper understanding of species affect the feasibility of natural goodness evaluations? Philippa Foot has argued for a form of natural goodness evaluation in which living things are evaluated by how well fitted they are for flourishing as members of (...)
  39. 3 Species-Identity.Peter R. Crane - 2010 - In Giselle Walker & E. S. Leedham-Green (eds.), Identity. Cambridge University Press. pp. 21--59.
  40. Species as Individuals or Classes: An "Iconoclassificationist's" View.T. M. Crowe - 1987 - Biology and Philosophy 2 (2):167.
  41. The Mystery of the Triceratops’s Mother: How to Be a Realist About the Species Category.Adrian Mitchell Currie - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (4):795-816.
    Can we be realists about a general category but pluralists about concepts relating to that category? I argue that paleobiological methods of delineating species are not affected by differing species concepts, and that this underwrites an argument that species concept pluralists should be species category realists. First, the criteria by which paleobiologists delineate species are ‘indifferent’ to the species category. That is, their method for identifying species applies equally to any species concept. To identify a new species, paleobiologists show that (...)
  42. Why Art?D. S. Danin - 1977 - Russian Studies in Philosophy 16 (1):68-73.
    I should like to add one new motif to our discussion. But to do so I must begin with an old question, exceedingly simple-minded for so learned an audience: "Why art?" However, in accordance with the limited task I set myself, it is best to frame it in less general form:"Why has art been needed by humanity as a biological species?".
  43. Ideias: formas, rationes e species. A Quaestio de ideis de Tomás de Aquino.Carlos Eduardo de Oliveira - 2013 - Discurso 40 (40):95-122.
    Ideias: formas, rationes e species. A Quaestio de ideis de Tomás de Aquino.
  44. Different Species Problems and Their Resolution.Kevin de Queiroz - 2005 - Bioessays 27 (12):1263-1269.
  45. Phylogenetic Definitions and Taxonomic Philosophy.Kevin De Queiroz - 1992 - Biology and Philosophy 7 (3):295-313.
    An examination of the post-Darwinian history of biological taxonomy reveals an implicit assumption that the definitions of taxon names consist of lists of organismal traits. That assumption represents a failure to grant the concept of evolution a central role in taxonomy, and it causes conflicts between traditional methods of defining taxon names and evolutionary concepts of taxa. Phylogenetic definitions of taxon names (de Queiroz and Gauthier 1990) grant the concept of common ancestry a central role in the definitions of taxon (...)
  46. Species Concepts and Species Delimitation.Kevin de Quieroz - 2007 - Systematic Biology 56 (6):879-886.
    The issue of species delimitation has long been confused with that of species conceptualization, leading to a half century of controversy concerning both the definition of the species category and methods for inferring the boundaries and numbers of species. Alternative species concepts agree in treating existence as a separately evolving metapopulation lineage as the primary defining property of the species category, but they disagree in adopting different properties acquired by lineages during the course of divergence (e.g., intrinsic reproductive isolation, diagnosability, (...)
  47. Philosophy and Phylogenetic Inference: A Comparison of Likelihood and Parsimony Methods in the Context of Karl Popper's Writings on Corroboration.Kevin de Quieroz - 2001 - Systematic Biology 50 (3):305-321.
    Advocates of cladistic parsimony methods have invoked the philosophy of Karl Popper in an attempt to argue for the superiority of those methods over phylogenetic methods based on Ronald Fisher's statistical principle of likelihood. We argue that the concept of likelihood in general, and its application to problems of phylogenetic inference in particular, are highly compatible with Popper's philosophy. Examination of Popper's writings reveals that his concept of corroboration is, in fact, based on likelihood. Moreover, because probabilistic assumptions are necessary (...)
  48. Kinds of Kinds: Individuality and Biological Species.Ronald de Sousa - 1989 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 3 (2):119 – 135.
  49. Receiving an Ancestor in the Phylogenetic Tree.John de Vos - 2009 - Journal of the History of Biology 42 (2):361-379.
    A comparison is made between the scientific receptions of three proposed new members of the hominin phylogenetic tree: the first finds of Neanderthal Man, those of Homo erectus, and those of Homo floresiensis. In each case, the leading scientists of the moment of discovery heavily debated the finds and neglected the meaning of those finds. At least it took/will take one generation before the meaning of those finds were/will be accepted.
  50. Phylogenetics and the Aptationist Program.Pierre Deleporte - 2002 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (4):514-515.
    The aptationist program includes attempts at sorting adaptations from exaptations, and therefore requires knowledge of historical changes in biological character states (traits) and their effects or functions, particularly for nonoptimal aptations. Phylogenetic inference is a key approach for historical aspects of evolutionary hypotheses, particularly testing evolutionary scenarios, and such “tree-thinking” investigation is directly relevant to the aptationist program.
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